Till The End Of The Line

Chapter 6

“we need to shovel, Bucky” Frankie mumbled, shoving her foot into the snow boots and zipping them up. They’ve been sitting in this cabin for nearly six months now. It was fully winter here near Boston. Frankie had been out nearly ever other hour trying to keep up with it, but it was coming down fast. “we need to be able to get out of here if we need too”

They’d been lucky. Bucky’s last trip was nearly three months ago. Supplies were getting low. Frankie made a trip into the city, grabbing the bear minimum. As instructed, she grabbed two burner phones. Bucky wanted them to have them, always fully charged, in case they were to be separated. As discussed, they’d be venturing out for a large supply run as soon as the snow had stopped. Far into New Hampshire. They hadn’t had any run ins with anyone unwanted in a while. They wanted to keep it that way.

“make dinner, I’ll take care of it” he told her, kissing the top of her head laughing at her outrageous outfit. “I want to teach you a few things when I get back”

Unwrapping herself from the multiple layers of clothing, she stared out the window and watched as he easily threw pounds of heavy, wet snow over his shoulders and cleared paths from all the doors to the two remaining vehicles. The bike was unwarranted for the current weather, but he kept both fully fueled up and ready to go.

Sat on the table next to her laptop, was the burner phone. Frankie wanted so badly to pick it up, call Steve, hear his voice, know he was okay and let him know she was okay. Tell him where she was, that Bucky was here and was back. But as much as she missed him, she knew she couldn’t do that.

“we should be good for a few more hours” Bucky sauntered into the door, shaking his head and throwing wet snow everywhere. “whatcha looking at?”

“I was thinking about something Aunt Peggy used to tell me. ‘Compromise where you can. Where you can't, don't. Even if everyone is telling you that something wrong is something right. Even if the whole world is telling you to move, it is your duty to plant yourself like a tree, look them in the eye, and say 'No, you move' I hope she’s okay”

“Steve had the worst crush on her. He’d go all stupid whenever she was around” he laughed, standing next to her looking down at the picture of a young Frankie, Peggy and Dum Dum.

“we can’t stay here much longer, we need to move soon” Frankie cleared her throat after looking up at Bucky, who had been staring down at her with something glittering in his eyes.

Pulling the laptop off the table, she took a quick seat on the couch and began typing away. Bucky twirled the wooden spoon he was using to stir the soup in his metal hand, the plates shifting lightly. It was quiet, the only thing you could hear was her light tapping and his metal plates. She looked at him, smiling. This had become their home. They weren’t comrades anymore, they were friends, roommates. They worked out a way to live together. They helped each other, understood each other. She didn’t want that to end.

“we can take a cruise. It stops in Iceland, we can grab a boat or something from there to England. I have somewhere we can stay. Uncle Pinky’s place is still empty”

“how do you know that?” Bucky asked, staring at her.

“I own it” she smiled, happy to know they had a safe place in England to go too. “a cruise is more ideal. Open waters, no airplanes, no TSA checks, no background checks. It’s harder to track someone while they are in the open sea. We can lay low, no one will know who we are. I can run backgrounds on everyone on board, so we are prepared”

“there’s only one problem, we still need photo I.D and a passport for open waters” Bucky told her, watching as her face fell as he debunked her plan. “I don’t know anyone up here that could help us”

Jumping up, she walked over to the only closet that was locked. As a young girl, she watched as her grandfather would put stashes of items in the closet and tell her they were ‘just incase of emergency’

Twisting the lock angerly, she couldn’t figure out his code. Frankie entered his birthday, her mothers, the 107th, his kill rate. Nothing would open it.

“to my sunshine, the light of my life. Without you, I would be lost. Without you, I don’t know where I would’ve ended up. You are the only thing that keeps me going. My truest love. I wish I would’ve told you more just how important you are to me. I will always be with you, even when I am gone. You are my world, dear one. I love you” Bucky read. Keeping her eyes on the lock, Frankie listened closely. “try your birthday”

As Frankie entered those four numbers, she heard the click.

“the note was behind the picture of the two of you, looks like your graduation”

She knew the exact picture he was holding. Grandfather hadn’t been able to walk very well, he had just began getting sick. But he insisted on being at her graduation on that hot summer Boston day, and insisted on standing to be next to her as Peggy took the picture. He was a tough person to be brought up by. But he’d taught her so much. He never did tell her he loved her, until he was about to stop breathing.

Shaking memories from her head, she opened the door and stared at the safe inside. Bucky stood beside her, looking down. She entered three numbers. 1 0 7. Frankie looked at Bucky as the green light blinked, slowly opening the safe. Knowing her grandfather well, she knew he’d have a stash of fake I. D’s laying around.

“problem solved” Frankie smiled, biting her bottom lip a little bit. Bucky smiled, the twinge in his stomach catching his attention.

“I need to teach you some things” he told her, grabbing some paper and writing words down.
While eating dinner, she stared down at the words he’d written as he explained why he wanted her to know them. Without knowing, she was holding the only thing that could snap him into the one person he didn’t want to be anymore. For emergencies, he told her.

“I’ve been trying to get the real Bucky back, why would I want to bring the solider out. I refuse to bring the solider out” she stormed up, slamming the bowl into the sink and sulked away from him. He walked up behind her, hugging her tightly. “you’ve come too far Buck, you can’t go back to him”

“it’s only for emergencies, Frank. I won’t let him hurt you again”

For two days Frankie planned everything they needed to do. Frankie took pictures, placing them gently and carefully in the correct positions of their new fake identities. Bucky did his normal routine, wake up, work out, clear the snow, make sure the vehicles run smoothly, work out a bit more, clean the weapons, help make dinner. They’d been quite since he’d taught her the words. Though she still refused to say them, she learned just as he wanted her too. Silently whispering them to herself when he wasn’t around.

“I’ve washed and packed all our stuff. We’ll leave in the morning to get to the dock. Get some sleep Frankie” Bucky whispered as he watched her look over some photos.

They’d come up with a plane to take two separate vehicles to the dock. They were only looking for him, so he wanted to be sure if they’d found him and followed, she wouldn’t be harmed. Frankie wasn’t a fan of the idea, of being separated from him, but he was stubborn and wanted his way.

“Anthony Smith, I’ll see you in the morning” Frankie smiled, grabbing her things from the bedroom. She stopped when she felt Bucky’s hand on hers.

“Elizabeth Sullivan, why don’t you stay in here with me” he smirked a bit, pulling her back to the bed.

It hadn’t become unusual for them to share the bed. Sleeping on and off from the old, rusty couch had started showing its effects on them both. The kind sized square of fluff was just enough room for neither of them too touch. Bucky trusted himself more around her now that he’d gone without any episodes of the other guy for awhile now.

The snow had stopped. Bucky was awake early, clearing the bit that had fallen overnight. Putting her things into the truck, he watched from the window as he saw her pouring some coffee into to go cups for the two of them. Making sure his bag was strapped tightly to the bike, he did one more round of the cabin to make sure everything was locked and secure, the way they’d arrived too it. The way he wanted it to be if they were ever able to come back.

“I’ll meet you on the ship, Mr. Smith” she smiled, handing him the cup and watched as he took a sip. “you’ve got everything? Your bags, phone, passport?”

“I’ve got everything Frankie” he couldn’t help but smile back at her. She zipped his jacket up a bit higher, making sure he was snug and warm.

“you should just come in the truck with me, it’s not safe during the winter on that bike” she shook his head while he giggled.

“can’t die, remember?” he smirked at her. She pulled him close, hugging him tightly. “I’ll be safe Frankie”

He leaned down, kissing her cheek with a bit too much power.

“don’t you leave me now, Mr. Barnes”

“I’ll see you on the ship, Frankie” he smiled, kissing her cheek again “I’m not leaving you again”

Frankie made her way to the main road, Bucky not far behind her. Once they hit the highway, Bucky sped past her with a speed that made her too uncomfortable for the wintery conditions. Singing lowly to the song the played from the old beat up radio, she smiled. The six-day voyage to Iceland would be calm. The only time they’d be able to relax without worrying if HYDRA was around the corner. She’d found the manifesto of the ship, running every name, back three generations, but found nothing. It was just enough relaxation they needed to be prepared when they landed.

Losing focus, she let her guard down. Frankie stared straight ahead, watching the road only, ignoring all the cars that passed her. Knowing she was getting close to the dock, she turned off the main highway, taking back roads. She felt a slight jolt, hearing the rim scrapping against the dirty, wet road.

“ah, shit” Frankie uttered under her breathe.

She ruined her jeans by leaning onto the road, trying her best to replace the tire. She didn’t know if this warranted a phone call to Bucky, so he’d know she wasn’t right behind him.

“excuse me ma’am, do you need some help?” Frankie looked up quickly, staring at the foreign man standing in front of her. The German accent made her nervous.

“I think I’ve got it, thank you” She smiled, quickly hitting call from the phone in her pocket. The man looked down at her. Evil was plastered on his face.

“yeah Frank” Bucky was muffled. “Frank?”

“you will come in handy on finding the asset. If not, I’m sure the doctor will find some use to you”

“FRANK” Bucky yelled, stomach in knots, staring into oblivion as he watched the passengers boarding around him.

“go” Frankie whispered. “go”

“I will find you, I promise” he told her, hanging the phone up and following suit to the others. He realized he was again in the one position he hated most.

He was alone.