Status: Prologue 6/7/2016

Silent Guardians

Chapter Seven

Once she was out of the building, Bucky went into his apartment and grabbed his brown leather journal. He began writing about Anya. It seemed to him that she didn't look at him the way most would. He hadn't scared her and he didn't want to forget that. Even though he told her he wouldn't run, he had planned on doing it, but he found himself foolishly not wanting to.

Sighing, Bucky closed the book of memories and held the pen he was writing with in his mouth. It was then that he had made a decision.

He would stay.

When Anya got back to her hotel room, she began thinking about Bucky. The world looked at him as if he were a monster, but she only saw a victim. Anya sat down on her bed and thought about how much they were alike. She thought about their nightmares and the leather journal Bucky kept.

She began chewing her bottom lip and looked down at her black duffel bag. Leaning down, she opened it and grabbed the old black journal. The pages were worn, the black leather had once been shiny and beautiful, but after years of carrying the same journal around, it wsa sure to diminish cosmetically. She grabbed the pen that was hooked to the cover and opened the book. Taking a deep breath in, she turned to an empty page. She stroked the beige paper gingerly with her thumb and began writing the date and about her journey to find Bucky, but she didn't specify who she was writing about.

The next morning, Anya woke and looked to her side to see her journal sitting where she left it on the nightstand the night prior. Writing again helped take some stress away. Stretching her limbs, Anya decided to get up. She took a shower and dressed in a black tank top and black denim shorts that stopped mid thigh. She decided to put her hair into her signature ponytail as well. As she grabbed all of her things, she began walking towards Bucky's apartment.

It was a beautiful day in Romania, and Anya noticed many people were taking advantage of it. People were walking together, smiling and laughing. Others were on mopeds or bicycles enjoying the small breeze that passed through. Anya saw people at the fruit and vegetable stands and looked for Bucky.
In the distance, Anya saw him at the same fruit stand as always. He was totally oblivious to the fact she was watching him. When he moved to go home, Anya walked behind him to see if he would notice her. He was about to walk through the threshold of the building when he stopped.

"Be careful about the banister." He then proceeded to walk up the stairs. A smile escaped from Anya's mouth. He was very perceptive.

"How are you doing today?" Bucky smiled slightly as he put the fruit he just bought into the bowl on the table.

"I'm okay. As much as I can be and yourself?" Anya walked around his apartment and leaned against his counter.

"I began writing, again." As he took his cap and jacket off, he looked at her with raised brows.
"Oh? Did I make you do that?" She shrugged some.

"Maybe. It took me a while to get the courage to do it, though." He nodded some and sat down on the couch.

"Did it help?" Anya took a large breath in and smiled, looking at the ground.

"Slightly." Bucky and Anya sat in an uncomfortable silence. They didn't know what to say to each other until Bucky had an idea.

"I want to show you something." Anya only looked at him suspiciously. He stopped and looked back at her with a soft expression. "Only if you trust me." He stood grabbing his cap and jacket once again and waited for her.

"Okay." He smiled and nodded his head towards the door.

They left Bucky's apartment and started walking down back alleyways and into the more abandoned area of Bucharest. In the far back, Anya noticed greenery had taken over a few buildings. Bucky began walking through the thick woods and held a few tree branches out of Anya's way. She wasn't sure what Bucky was leading her to, but she followed. The sounds of birds chirping and flying around was calming, and the slight breeze that blew felt wonderful against her skin.

The tops of the trees danced around and allowed bits of sunshine down on them.

"I come here to think and maybe remember something of my past life." Bucky pulled a curtain of ivy away to reveal a large pond with a waterfall in the back. The sun reflected against the water as small ripples were made. Anya walked forward allowing Bucky to enter as well.

"It's beautiful, Bucky." A smile formed on his face as he walked towards a large boulder and sat down. There was lush greenery everywhere around them. Anya walked towards the water and squatted down. She dipped her hand into the water only feel that it was warm to the touch.

"When I come here, I don't have to worry about being found. The sounds of the water relax me and helps my memories surface." Anya shook her head at Bucky's treasure.

"And you're sharing it with me? Why?" Bucky licked his lips and shrugged gently not looking her way.
"You and I aren't so different. Maybe this will help you with the things in your life. Past or present doesn't matter." Anya smiled at Bucky's kindness and generosity.

"Thank you, Bucky." He only nodded with a serene look on his face. Anya got an idea and grinned. She cupped her hands in the water and quickly splashed Bucky.

"Let's make another memory shall we?" She got up as Bucky began to chase her around the pond. He was slightly more nimble than her and easily caught up with her. Grabbing her around the waist and pulled her up into the air. Anya knew exactly what he was going to do, and before she could say anything, her whole body was submerged under the luke warm water.

Anya quickly resurfaced and caught her breath. She looked around for Bucky who was standing near a large oak tree with his arms crossed, grinning in victory. With a glare, Anya began splashing him, quickly soaking his pants. Bucky looked at her with a shocked expression. He only nodded some and pulled off his jacket and shirt, and threw them down on the ground. It wasn't long until he dove into the large pond and began swimming after her. Bucky had grabbed her by her ankles and pulled her back under.

She couldn't see very well under the water due to the murkiness, but she could see Bucky's blurred body swimming away. Anya swam after him and grabbed his arm that slipped out of the grasp. Feeling her lungs needing air, she began swimming up towards the surface.

As she gasped for air, Anya saw that Bucky was already up.

"So, they trained you at swimming too?" He grinned at her as his now black hair was slicked back and leaned back into the water.

"Maybe, or it could be that I swim better than you." She opened her mouth in faux shock. Bucky chuckled at her. The feeling of them horseplaying around felt familiar to him. He knew that he and Steve would joke around, and this feels just like that. He wondered if he would ever return to normal.

Maybe this was the new normal for him. Always running.

Anya painfully pulled her hair tie out and let her brown hair down from it. She watched Bucky close his eyes and relax in the water. Bucky felt Anya right next to him, and when he opened his eyes she was staring at his chest.

"Do you mind?" Bucky knew she wanted to inspect the large scar where metal and skin fused together. He only swallowed hard. He wasn't sure if he trusted her or not, but he nodded allowing her to touch him.

Ever so gently, she ran her index finger down the large pink line. Her brows furrowed as she could only imagine the pain that he went through.

"What is it?" Anya breathed in quickly as Bucky's voice startled her. He began to feel subconscious as she kept her eyes on the scar. What was she thinking? That he was a monster? Just some doll that was sewn together?

Anya could feel the anger in her body bubble.

"I can't believe HYDRA would go this far, but then again, they have done worse things." Bucky only watched her and found sympathy, sadness, and a bit of anger in her eyes and movements. He wasn't fond of sympathy, but when it came from her, it was different.

Anya put her hand on the scar gently and looked up into his steel gray eyes. Bucky's belly began feeling strange. He felt a flutter in his chest as she looked up at him.

Anya blinked quickly and looked down. She smiled some and backed up from him. Bucky oddly found that he wanted her hand back on his chest.

"I'm sorry." He only shook his head to dismiss her apology.

"No need to apologize. It's a part of me now and I can not change that. "

Anya nodded and turned slightly as the soft breeze was blowing the trees back and forth. Squirrels were hopping along the branches and birds sang their songs to each other as they flew overhead. It was nice not having to do any work for a while.

"I can see why you love this place so much." Bucky nodded gently and noticed a dark pink scar of her own on the back of her shoulder.

"I am glad I found it. It takes away a lot of stress. Is that from your father," Bucky asked with a sudden gentleness, "On your back?"

Anya absentmindedly touched the scar on her shoulder.

"You saw it?" Bucky didn't realize he was staring until she began talking. "My scar?"

He felt embarrassed that he had been caught and nervously placed his hand on the back of his neck.

"I'm sorry." She smiled softly at him and waved her hand at him.

"It wasn't your fault. It's all in the past now. Besides, you showed me yours, I will show you mine." Bucky bit his bottom lip. They were bonding, some, so it wouldn't hurt to look at it.

She walked up to him and pulled her tank top up in the back, but kept the front down. He walked up behind her and gawked at the mangled mess of flesh and tissue. Half of her back was showing, and the rest was hidden underneath the water. There were different colors of red and pink from shallow wounds and deep ones as well. Bucky wanted to gently run a finger down them, but he refrained from doing so.

"I can't believe he did that to you." Anya put her tank top down and turned back around to him."

"He was cruel. I have often wondered if he didn't kill my mother." Anya began thinking of the past.

"The joke is on him if he did." Bucky furrowed his brows.

"What do you mean?" Anya chewed her bottom lip slightly.

"My mother, before she died, she told me that she was pregnant with my baby brother. She was going to tell my father when she got home that day." Bucky only nodded and didn't know what to say about that.

"So you have been through a lot too." It was more of a statement than a question. Bucky was thinking to himself about Anya and how much he didn't know about her but trusted her anyway. The wind began to pick up some and Anya felt a chill run up her spine. Bucky looked over at her and saw the goosebumps that rose on her skin.

"Let's go get something to eat, yeah?" She smiled at him, their previous conversation was forgotten.

They both climbed out of the water and began walking back towards Bucky's apartment. Before they stepped out of the wooded area, Bucky placed his jacket over Anya's shoulders. The surprise was placed on her face as she watched Bucky.

"Thank you." He put his red shirt on over his wet torso and nodded.

"Once we get out in the open, it will be slightly cooler." She smiled at him as they walked towards the apartment, but not before smiling at each other hearing their boots squeak with every step they took.
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Edited: 7/26/2016