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 How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH

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VampireCat92
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PostSubject: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Mon Aug 22, 2016 2:13 pm

Steve stared at his apartment wall, looking at the large map that adorned it. On the map was multiple colored strings and photos that were taken. Some of Bucky from security feeds, and some of Hydra operatives that were stationed at the area, or the people who were in Hydra. A lot of them had been killed or marked. Many times, rumor would tell him that Bucky was in one place, and when he’d get there he would come face to face with a burning building, a sinking feeling in his gut. He would be too late.

Natasha was a godsend, always sending him what leads she could, but even she couldn’t follow a trail a ghost story would leave behind too well. Sam was a good support system and Tony, as much as he hated Bucky with a passion, told Steve that it was best if he helped too. Because if Steve saw something worth saving in him, then…there’s something there. Though Tony wasn’t all about sympathy tendencies. Steve was pretty certain there was an angle he was playing for.

His phone rang, breaking him out of his thoughts and he quickly took it off his belt. Tony’s face, complete with sunglasses, a duck face, and a peace sign showed up on his screen. He slid to accept the call. “Tony.”

“You would never guess what the cat dragged in.” Tony answered gleefully.

“I dunno Tony, a dead robotic mouse?” Steve asked dryly.
“God you’re no fun. You should be thanking me and my superior knowledge right about now, because /I / found your friend.”

Steve took a deep breath in. “Oh yeah?”

“Are you going to make me give you all the answers or are you going to guess for once? You know that’s part of the guessing game right? You guess an answer?” Tony rolled his eyes. “I don’t know why I bother with you. Why am I even calling you? I should be FaceTiming you. Do you know how to FaceTime?”

“I’m not dead.” Steve deadpanned. “I don’t know Tony…Brooklyn?”

“Oooh your so close you could burn yourself. No, though. He’s with S.H.I.E.L.D at their base. Along with a young girl. I can’t tell from the security feeds, but according to my lovely assistant F.R.I.D.A.Y, they’re questioning her and Bucky about some things about Hydra. Your Soviet Friend from the Iron Curtain isn’t exactly cooperating. Or he’s not doing it well enough. My bet is that Fury’s gonna give up talking to him and give you the opportunity you need to break out and ride off into the sunset.”

“Riding into the sunset is not my thing.”

“Not a white horse it’s not, but on a motorcycle? Totally your thing. So. Whatcha going to do now, solider boy?”

Steve looked at the map again. Would Bucky still be with S.H.I.E.L.D by the time Fury called him? “Whose the girl? Was she brought in with him?”

“F.R.I.D.A.Y says yes.” Tony hummed. “Apparently, they’re not happy with Bucky so they separated them. Scared the agents something awful. She ran into the door about ten times before knocking herself unconscious, screaming.”

“Jesus.” Steve swore.

“I don’t think the agents are going to let you anywhere near her anytime soon.” Tony mused. “But I can tell you this much, it made Bucky answer a few questions.”

“What kind of questions?”

“I don’t know. The basics I suppose. Who are you? Do you know what year it is? Who are you working for? What Bucky are we speaking to. You know, the dumb questions. You ask better questions, though probably still the dumb ones.”

“Thanks Tony, I appreciate it.” Steve replied dryly.

“Tell me I’m the best.”

“You’re okay.”

“What? No! Steve-“

Steve hung up and he looked at the last picture that was taken of Bucky. Alone, with no companion with him, taken in Romania.

“You’re gonna be okay Buck. I promise.” Steve walked out of the room and through his apartment. He grabbed his keys from the light blue bowl that was next to the door and headed out.
~+~
“You know I was just about to call you.” Fury stated when Steve walked into his office, his shoulders tight and ready for a fight. “I suppose you heard from Stark then?”

“Could’ve been anyone with the way you try to keep secrets.” Steve retorted. “Where’s Bucky?”

“In containment.” Fury replied. “Where he belongs as well as his little friend that we found hanging upside down in the cage.”

“Cage?” Steve furrowed his eyebrows before shaking his head from side to side. “You really think that containment is the way to go? That they’re just gonna spill whatever you want when they feel like they have nothing to lose or gain?”

“That girl ran herself into a door until she was knocked out. According to the physician that managed to get /in/ the area, she should be awake by now.” Fury pointed out. “As for your friend, he was back in Cyro. We couldn’t be certain that you and I were talking to the same person.”

“So let’s test the theory out.” Steve rolled his shoulders back. “I want access.”

“To Bucky or to the Girl?”

“To Bucky.” And then the girl, though Steve wasn’t at all going to say that to Fury’s face. Though it looked like Fury already had an idea of where Steve was going to go. “You don’t know Bucky like I do.”

“You’re right. I don’t.” Fury agreed, a little too easily for Steve’s liking. “So like you said Captain. Let’s test a theory out. He is in cell 107. I thought it’d be a bit symbolic.” He handed Steve an access card and gestured for him to get out of his office.
Steve paused but decided against fighting for now. Whatever game Fury was coming up with, he would just have to make sure that Bucky wasn’t in the middle of it. He strode his way across the base into the basement prison cells. None of them were filled, besides two. But he knew that these were only supposed to be temporary. At least until they were shipped to either the Playground, whatever it was, or the Raft.

He slid the card through the keypad and carefully walked into the cell, the door sliding shut behind him with a heavy echo. No one was in there, but Bucky looked….

So damn tired.

Buck swung his head up from where he was seated in the only desk there was, besides the bed and there was a more private door where the toilet was. He stared at Steve a moment, registering who it was, and then his stormy ocean eyes glanced up at his golden hair. Brown eyebrows furrowed and he watched Steve for a moment. The light played in the artificial light in a weird way. It was just way too bright in here, he figured, but he swore... "Sarah...had a sun catcher, didn't she? In the kitchen window where the sun rose from? A morning treat before you went to school. What in the bloody hell was it though?" he scowled, frustrated, "It was small...and not one of those stain glass ones."

"It was an angel." Steve said softly as he walked over the corner of the wall and leaned against it. It might've been a bad move, but it was actually a good spot if he needed to defend himself. "I'm surprised you remember that."

"It was really random. I guess...you're the most colorful thing I've seen in...fuck if I know how long I've really been /in here/. They gave me such drab scrubs to wear, and Fury's all black in an all white room," Buck grumbled darkly, "Do they /want/ insane people to go more insane? Why don't they make the walls green or something? Blue might be better. At least you get to pretend you're downing instead of floating in empty air."

Just as he said that, there was a loud BANG that crossed the hallway and a sharp yell. Like someone was trying to call for someone. The name was muffled, since the doors were heavy enough to soundproof some of the noise. Steve flinched, but looking at Bucky, he noticed that his friend looked like he was slapped across the face. "I'd go completely insane in any kind of room if there's not a window. Even then." Steve said quietly. "It'd bring back too many memories of me being sick. Is she...someone important to you Buck?"

Buck closed his eyes and placed his right hand over them, taking deep breaths and letting them out slowly, muttering, "Comply, comply...confirm...mission asset...confirm...comply..." under his breath in the barest whisper that seemed too loud for his own ears. He shuddered his last breath before letting his hand drop and fiddle with the sling his left arm was in. His eyes as he looked at Steve were mostly blank, just a hint of inner turmoil, "Affirm."

Steve’s heart broke when he saw the light disappear from Bucky’s eyes. There hadn’t been much, but it had been faint. He wanted to kick himself, he shouldn’t have asked. He wondered if this was how Hydra managed to keep Bucky in line. It made him sick to think that was the case. He knew that asking anything further would just make Bucky shut down completely, or he’d just answer…and lose all hope.

It made Steve want to visit her. To see what Bucky was trying to protect. It sounded like to him that the girl, whoever she was, or is, had the same idea. To get out, to free, and to leave. “I swear to you, I’m not gonna hurt her and I’m not gonna let anyone touch her.” Steve promised after a moment, looking at Bucky squarely. “Okay Buck? I have your back.”

"Assess...affirmative?" he posed it like a question and he made minute rubbing motions with his lips like he wanted to bit them, "Won't...believe you until her screaming stops. Mission....survive. This is...not acceptable parameters. Failure uncertain..." he looked to be fighting with himself and starting and stopping between speaking like a machine and like the Bucky Steve had greeted. "We are...alive, yes? These walls...are confining. We weren't hurting anyone. Living alone, always moving..."

Steve slowly pushed himself off the wall. He had a feeling Bucky wouldn't appreciate it if he tried to hug him, or worse tried to corner him. "I know. I tried to track you down...to give you a safe spot before this." Steve said after a moment. It was hard, looking at his best friend in the eye, but he would do it. "I can't promise you I can get her to stop screaming, but...maybe I can settle her down just a bit. I don't know if she'll like me or not. I don't know if she has an idea of who I am...and if I'm someone she looks up to or not."

Bucky took it upon himself to stand instead, and come to Steve. He shook his head and covered his facial features with his hair. He was maybe three feet away from him. and he brought his right hand up, trying to convey hand signals. Anything he could do could be interpreted within five minutes since they were being watched. He just wanted to share this one secret, goddamn it. Bringing his hand as close as he could to his face, he did the 'I'm watching you' and then pointed up, wondering if Steve knew where the camera would be.

Steve glanced upwards and at an angle, showing subtly where the camera was with his eyes, making sure it wasn't obvious. He watched his friend being to pace, obviously trying to make it look like it would be coincidence that he would stand in front of the camera. While Bucky paced, Steve also took up the role of trying to "calm' him down. "I debated about getting an apartment or an actual house for you so you could hide. I'm...kind of glad and a little disappointed that I didn't get the apartment. A house would've been better. You would be a lot more comfortable."

"Pros and cons to both..." Buck mumbled softly, running his hand through his hair. One pass. 'I' was written on Steve's arm, "Multi-bedroom apartment big enough, maybe. Still cramped. Not as many bills to pay. Live minimally..." Pass two, letter 'N'... House could be too big? Insecure yet more places to hide...lived in shacks from time to time. not too bad." Last pass, 'A' and he huffed, before sitting down on the bed, farthest away from Steve, looking deflated, "Either one would be better than here..." he looked up at the ceiling at the bulb, "I think an angel suncatcher would be nice...break up the white with the glow, even if it's still too bright."

Angelina. That was a pretty name. A sad name too. "I'll try to get you one." He promised softly. "We could make this look at least a little better than a cell." But hopefully, they wouldn't be there that long. The peacefulness shattered however, just as Steve had hoped that it was going well. He didn't hear a bang on the door, but a loud, heartbreaking wail. He turned over his shoulder and listened. She did this twice, three times before it went silent. It echoed, deafeningly in the halls and when he looked over at Bucky, he could see his friend was on edge. "Buck?"

It was like a reset. Just as he was coming back to acting like himself again, he was steamrolled right back to the machine side and he looked at Steve in a sort of panic and a flinch, as if he was going to be punished, "Q-Query? Affirm comply? Companion...confirm protect, mission asset?" he looked pleading, instead of blank eyes like the banging brought on, the wail set off a different kind of submissive side.

"I'm not...exactly certain what you're trying to say...but if you're asking me to promise you, to swear to you, that I'll protect your friend...." Steve nodded his head firmly. "You have my word. Do you need me to swear on my ma's grave? I can do that. Do you want me to go and see if I can calm her down?"

Buck closed his eyes and put his hand over them again, breathing heavy, "Override...override....goddamn it...confirm override...just fucking let me talk!" he cursed heavily, "Negative...No! Shit...I'm /asking/ if I answered your questions, /Steve/. Please...affirm...yes." He flexed his hand a few times, and hissed as crackles covered his metal arm. His jaw ticked as he clenched it, taking calming breaths and the crackling stopped. He was good with pain. He could deal with pain. Anger was familiar, too. This was a giant /mess/. "Thank you." He muttered quietly, "Please go." Go help her.

Steve really, really wished that he could hug his friend, but instead he unfolded his arms and gave him a smile. "I'll go talk to her." He murmured. "I'll be back. Not today...but...I'll try to swing by tomorrow or so okay?" He knew Bucky probably wouldn't answer, he pressed enough and he knew it. He quietly walked out of the room and listened to the door shut behind him. He looked at the prison across from him and he just /knew/ Fury was going to kick his ass for this. On the other hand, Steve couldn't be bothered to care.

He walked across the hallway and slid the access hard through the keypad. He took a breath in and out and carefully opened the door. He noticed a mass of white hugging the wall, nails scratching and her lips bleeding red. She looked over at him, beautiful green eyes boring into him like a feral animal waiting to see who came across her territory.

If Bucky looked tired, she looked like a mess. Blood was all over her. Her nose had clearly been bleeding, and her nails were chipping from the way she was clawing at the wall. She kept herself close to it, ready for anything. She had a few bruises forming too, if Steve had a closer look.

“Hey.” Steve said softly, and was answered with a low, warning growl. “I’ll stay right here.” He promised, keeping close to the door and not daring to enter another step. “Bucky’s just across the hall. He’s…worried about you. You’re screaming and it makes him wonder if you’re alright or not.”

She didn’t growl at him, but she wasn’t letting up on the glare either. Steve looked around at the cell. At how…dark it was. “Why did they decide that you deserve to be in here?” He asked, knowing too well that she wasn’t going to answer. “You didn’t do anything.”

Of course she did something and that’s why she was in here. A pet of Hydra’s was probably just as valuable as the Solider himself. He looked at Angelina, who didn’t dare look away from him. “Bucky told me your name.”

The glare softened into something that looked akin to surprise. “He told me to look out for you. That’s why I’m asking you not to scream.”

She didn’t look away, but Steve could see that he was getting through to her somehow, someway. “He needs you to be brave. I know you’re terrified. I know that you’re uncertain. Bucky’s feeling the same way. But you need to be brave and you can’t scream anymore.”

Angelina touched her throat. Surprise and hurt flashed across her face and she turned away, leaning her head against the wall. For one, frightful moment, Steve thought that she was going to try to bash her head in like Dobby the House-Elf would if he disobeyed. Instead, she just…leaned against it and stared blankly ahead.

Steve had a feeling that this was a dismissal. “I’m going to try to see you again.” He promised. “So don’t hurt yourself anymore.” He stepped back and out of the cell.

It took everything he had not to punch something as he walked out of the basement.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Mon Aug 22, 2016 4:46 pm

The next day, once more with a little more determination and with more of an idea of what he was up against, Steve walked down to the basement prison. He kept his steps light, knowing that the firm echo was probably something else that would set Angelina off in a scream. Firm steps was something that meant power. It was a well-practiced march soldiers knew the rhythm to. Angelina knew those steps, but her knowledge of them wasn’t about power and about direction. It was about pain, fear, and domination.

Steve didn’t want her to think that his steps were going to bring forth any of that. However, he had to be a little surprised when he saw an agent standing by Angelina’s door, a gun strapped to their belt and they were reading a book. “Who are you?” Steve stiffened.

The man held his one hand up, book splayed as that hand followed. He was just a regular worker there at the base, nothing out of the ordinary in his appearance, except maybe innocence, "Captain! Uh...Agent Wicker. Just...standing by, in case anything happens. This morning there was an incident and they just want me to keep an eye on...what was it...Companion, right."

Companion. Bucky said that word before. So was it a code name? "What happened?" His mind was going a thousand different routes. So many things could've happened, even if S.H.I.E.L.D was no longer "bad", Hydra still could be somewhere in the depths, just waiting to come out. Did they recognize someone?

"The two of them are taken to shower every other day. They tried doing it separately, but Barnes was very...dead? That is the only word I can come up with, and Companion is just...like fighting with a child who doesn't like bath time. No worse! A cat and they have all their claws and you have to wear gauntlets just to get them trimmed," Wicker waved his hand and book a bit, and it looked and sounded like he had experience in the cat part or at least knew someone who did. "So as long as they are out of reach of each other and stay line of sight, showering is the only time they're allowed to see each other. Barnes talks to her...constantly. None-stop unless he's thinking. She doesn't respond back, but it's like they have their own way of communicating. Barnes was very sad to see her all cut up and her nails..." he made a horrified face, "But...that was the incident. Someone tried to patch her up...Barnes warned them that he's the only one she'll allow to touch her and no one listened. No one even touches her when they take her from her cell, they just point tasers and tranks at her. Anyway...she gouged them pretty good, even bit them. Like a rabid animal."

“Be treated like an animal enough and that’s what you become.” Steve sighed softly. He wasn’t upset. Not at Wicker. But he felt anger pooling at his stomach about the way Angelina was being treated. She was just a scared girl, whose been through nothing but torture and abuse. Who was being treated like a criminal. “Is she out cold right now?”

"Um...no. The tranks wore off a while ago. She's been talking to the walls again," Wicker frowned and shook his head, "Captain...I'm not sure who I feel worse for. Your friend, or her. He completely shut down once they tranked her. You remember her screaming yesterday? His matched during the incident."

Steve wondered if he should go see Bucky, but he made a promise to his friend to look out for Angelina. “Let me in then.” He said after a moment. “If she’s willing to talk to walls, she might be willing to talk to me for a bit. Or at least listen.”

"Have at it, you're a lot more durable than any of us, so I'm not too worried," Wicker shrugged and stepped aside, unlocking the door and settled back against the wall, nose back in his book.

Steve walked through the door, giving Wicker a bit of a look though he understood the comment. He walked into the room and noticed how…very different it was. Angelina was on the floor, legs up against the wall, her arms pillowing her head. She barely glanced at him before she flipped herself around and coming to a stand. She walked over to the only table they allowed her, bolted to the ground and sat down on top of it, legs crossed.

“Hey. I heard that you got hurt.” Steve kept his distance, remembering that she wouldn’t want to be cornered. The desk was a good place. If she needed to get high quickly to hurt him. It was an advantage. “Did something happen?”

He noticed the cuts down her arm, long, scratches some deeper than the other. “I don’t want those cuts to get infected.” He said after a moment. She leaned back and recrossed her legs. She didn’t lean forward again, instead she leaned back, her hands behind her. She didn’t wince. “I know you don’t want to be checked out. I think you had a bad experience with doctors.”

She blew her hair out of her face, but the sound that she made doing it was almost like a breathy laugh. Like he was being challenged to try to imagine the worst of it. “Do the walls ever talk back to you?”

She looked at him, a slow blink and a mischievous smile on her face. She pushed herself up, getting on the desk and doing a handstand, leaning on her forearms rather than her hands. Steve wondered what she was trying to accomplish. “Can you not do that on the desk?”

Taking that as a challenge, she lifted herself from her forearm position to her hands. Steve rolled his eyes. “Fine if you fall of the desk and get hurt, I’m not patching you up.”

Just like that, she lowered herself back onto her forearms and came back down to a kneeling position. Her eyes wide and curious.

“You did that just to see what would happen if you did get hurt, didn’t you?” Steve raised an eyebrow at her. “Are you wanting to hurt me?”

The first nonverbal response she ever made. She did a sea-saw motion with her hands, a grin still in place. She got off the desk and walked over to the wall again. She laid down on the floor and she brought her legs back up against it.

“…” Steve watched her for the longest time. “Do you…feel pain?”

She sharply turned her head and she growled. A warning.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to make it sound like that. I was wondering. Because those cuts…you’re acting like they don’t hurt you.” Steve said slowly. “But they look pretty deep, kid.”

Her growl cut off and she raised an eyebrow.

“You look about sixteen, seventeen.”

Her smile came back and she turned back to stare up at the ceiling, a content smile on her face and her eyes closed.

“I’m going to go across the hall and talk to Bucky. I think he’s gonna want to know that you’re alright.” He watched as she fluidly, once more, got up from her position and stood. “You can’t come with me.”

She growled.

“I still-“

She punched the wall. It wasn’t…impressive. It wasn’t like she managed to break the wall. But the loud cracks of her fingers and the laugh that bubbled through brought the hairs on Steve’s skin up. What the fuck have they done to her? Done to Bucky? To make her laugh at such a pain? “Jesus…kid.”

She cradled her hand, careful but she didn’t answer. She looked away, staring pointedly at the floor.

“I’m going to ask Bucky how on earth we’re going to get you patched up. You can’t do this.” Steve watched as she brought her hands to her hair, her nails scraping at her scalp and she sunk slowly to the floor. Steve was thinking to himself, this was where he was supposed to get close to her. This was where he was supposed to show Bucky that he could protect her.

How do you protect someone whose demons where in their head? He backed away slowly, knowing that Bucky was going to ask him a thousand and one questions, but as the door slid close, he heard her sing.

All my friends are heathens take it slow.
Wait for them to ask you who you know.
Please don’t make any sudden moves
You don’t know the half of the abuse.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Mon Aug 22, 2016 10:01 pm

Wicker looked over at Steve, eyebrows up to his hairline, "She sings occasionally, but that line was...really accurate. You going to talk to Barnes now?" He was just handing his lanyard to a woman with black hair that had a blue ombre effect at about halfway down.

"Hello, Mr. Rogers," the woman smiled, "Long time no see."

"You two know each other, Calla?" Wicker blinked.

"Just in passing. Bumped into each other one early morning getting coffee at the same place," Calla shrugged.

Wicker watched Calla blush furiously but she walked over to Bucky's cell and swiped the key card. Meanwhile, he pressed the button on his radio, "Dr-yes, Mr. Rogers is requesting your presence. He witnessed Companion possibly break her fist punching the wall..." he winced, "Yes. Punching a wall...okay. See you soon."
"Thanks." Steve smiled as he walked across the hallway. He gently knocked on the door before he slid the access card through the keypad. He wasn't expecting much, but his friend's current state was...heartbreaking to say the least.

Face stone, he was staring blankly at the ceiling, hair splayed across the mattress, and it looked like he'd laid there the moment he was put back in the cell because his hair should by dry, but it was all stuck together and uncombed. Buck only blinked when he had to, which could be much longer than a minute. He was a sniper, after all. He was paler than the day before, almost matched his surroundings if it weren't for his scrubs. He made no motion to realizing Steve was there.

"Hey...Buck." Steve carefully called, "I need some help with your Companion. She punched a wall and she's been hurting people who are trying to help her. Do you...have any ideas on how we can get Dr. Rivera to help her?"  

Several blinks at once. Then a full facial wince as Buck registered pain and light and ow. Confirm pain, for sure. More blinking and he looked at Steve in confusion. When did he get there? Mission asset...said Companion hurt herself? He groaned and sat up, "Dr. Rivera is acceptable...stupid /idiotule/...grabbed the roll of gauze and walked towards Companion with it partially unrolled like someone would with rope or tape to bind. Unacceptable. Told him to stop. Was not compliant. Companion lost it, tore him up, and Dr. Rivera took him out."

Steve felt his heart sink. Bucky was talking like this was a report, nothing more or less. The only emotion he showed was when he allowed a little of his anger to bleed through the tone. About how the man came at her like he was going to bind her. "I bet that man knows a lot better not to look like a predator." He knew that his joke fell flat. S.H.I.E.L.D were nothing but. No amount of trying look docile was going to help much. "How are you holding up?" He walked over, but he didn't sit down, nor did he try to crowd Bucky's space. He stayed near the walls, trying to make himself look smaller.

A long pause, and he looked up at him. Regarding him for a moment, he threw his legs over the side and stood up, "Concerned, yes. Can't do anything. Can't go to her, comfort her. This...electric pulse device...tried to fight them to get to her, but it doesn't just shut the arm down. Akin to an electric fence...confirm. Yes." He looked towards the window. He knew they could look in, but he couldn't see out. Like an interrogation room. Companion didn't have one, which was good. Confirm. She would hate it. It would be like being an animal in a zoo. It was bad enough the walls talked.

Heaving a deep sigh, he walked closer to Steve, "You asked me how to help. Like dealing with an animal, you let her come to you. Slow and steady. Can't do what she doesn't want."

"Okay." Steve nodded. "Tell me a little about her?" He asked after a moment. "Just...she's scared Buck." He stuffed his hands in his pockets. "She's scared and I bet really confused. She doesn't belong here, anymore than you do. I don't want to use anything against her. I just...I want to understand her. Just like I want to re-learn how to understand you."

Touch. Query. Why did that come up just now? He wanted to touch the mission-asset...but the walls...he knew where the cameras were, yet it wouldn't be a good idea. They might take it as a threat. His mouth felt dry, and he opened and closed it a few times before he smiled weakly, "That face doesn't suit you." It was better when he smiled. It could light up a room. Yet...when did mission asset really smile last? Everything was just weighing down on him. "I...apologize. Confirm...shouldn't have put this on you. Panicked...Knew you'd take it." He walked closer to him just a bit, "Can't...tell you about her. Not here. Knew Companion since September...does that help?"

"Not a lot, but...I know that you two are super close." Steve carefully pulled his hands out of his pocket. "I understand." It sucked that they were so closely observed. He needed to find a way to communicate with Angelina. "I'm going to get you and her out of here." He said determinedly, looking at Bucky. "But first, we're going to help Dr. Rivera help the Companion. I don't think she's going to let her in her cell. Let alone be touched." He smiled a little. "A little fresh air will wonders, right?" He knew he was playing a dangerous game. "Oh yeah...she sang to me." He snapped his fingers. "I knew I was supposed to tell you something."

"Sang? She does that when she has a message to convey...a piece of past or warning. It confuses people. Also, when Companion sings obnoxiously it's just to make me feel better," Buck's speech was slowly coming back to normal, but still broken.

The song that she decided to sing was dead on accurate, and straight to the point. Steve didn't need a message to know, but at the same time he had his suspicions. "Companion's not apart of Hydra but she was found there." He wasn't interrogating. "Technically you're not apart of Hydra either Buck. You got out, tried to live a decent life, and got captured again because of it. I /know/ how these people are treating the Companion. How many times has she been shot with those tranquilizers?" He held his hand up. "She's right. I don't have anything of what she's been through. I don't really have much of a clue about you either. I'm sure Hydra edited those reports I found as heavily as they could. Even the most confidential probably has some things written off." Steve watched Bucky. "She asked me to ask you who you know. Wait for them to ask you who you know. I think she wants to know if I'm safe. If I'm trustworthy. Maybe she thinks I'm not. I really don't know."

It didn't surprise him, not at all, that Steve could read so heavily into one simple phrase Angelina sang to him. "That sounds about right. I don't know if she would trust you just because I do. Somewhere deep she probably wouldn't. It would be very surface-level. It's been two weeks...or has it been three? She's losing grip and she doesn't have my guidance."

Steve shifted, knowing to well that this could cause a problem. Angelina probably didn't have a clue of what to do. How to react. Just stay silent, pray that they won't hurt Bucky, and act up if she so much thought that they were going to hurt him. "What type of guidance would you give?"

"Not...all of my guidance is verbal. I touch. Her back, her hair...rewards for doing something good. Like a child in a way, but she's so smart, Steve," Buck shook his head, "She has the brains that could compare to Tony, in a way. Very technological. Build her own radio to tune into frequencies. That's...how we found the base in England. She just doesn't know how to act in a social situation, how to be human, because I'm the only one who's treated her like a human in a long time."

Steve felt his heart sink. "Do you think maybe you could help her around Dr. Rivera?" He asked after a moment. "You don't have to, I can try to find a way to get her help, but...I think she'll respond better if she's with you."

"If...Dr. Rivera is okay with that. I don't know how she feels about me, if she thinks it would be too dangerous..." Buck shifted. He tilted his head as he heard talking outside, and nodded to Steve, "Is that her?"

Steve listened and nodded, "Sounds like. Come on." He smiled a little though it didn't reach his eyes and opened the prison door, allowing Bucky to go out first before shutting it behind him.

Buck fidgeted as she saw Teresa there talking to someone he didn't recognize. "Hello, Dr. Rivera," he greeted awkwardly. He wasn't sure if this was a good idea, but he wanted to see Angelina...

"Hello." Teresa smiled as she looked over at Steve and Bucky. She was surprised by how worn down Bucky was, and pursed her lips together. He looked like he just woke up, or at least hadn't been sleeping for four days if not longer. She wasn't going to doubt that the girl inside /this/ cell was doing much better. "I was just telling Agent Thomas that I was here to see the Companion and what damage she took."

"Steve said it might be a good idea if I'm there with you, to keep her calm," Buck explained.

Calla glanced between the three of them, "Mr....Steve. Right, just Steve...should I go ahead and open the door?"

"Please." Steve said and looked at Bucky. "I don't think she's gonna come out. So you might have to be the one to coax her. You can go inside. I promise, nothing bad happens."

Calla turned to the door and unlocked it, swinging the door open and she watched as Buck slowly edged closer to the door, as if he would be severely punished for doing so, even if Steve /just/ said it was okay. It made her frown deeply and look towards Steve in concern, before watching what Bucky did.

"Hey, /fetiță/," Buck cooed softly as he finally made it to the doorway, spotting her in the corner, crouching down, "You're hurt, we're gunna get you fixed up. They won't hurt you this time. We just gotta go to the doctor's office, okay?"

Angelina looked at him in absolute horror. Not much for the doctors. She /expected/ that. She could feel his mind going a thousand miles per a minute. All of them about strategy, how to keep her calm, how many agents would come bursting through the door, Steve and whether or not he was okay. Was he going to get into trouble and if so, how much. She whimpered, curling in on herself. She couldn't touch him because they'd /use/ him. She couldn't do her rambling thing because she just knew that if she opened her mouth for anything besides speaking to the walls, they'd use it too. She felt her hands go up to her head and her nails scratched at her scalp as she pulled. She bit her lip to stop herself from screaming. She was so /scared/ and she didn't want him to be /hurt/. Fuck this test. Fuck all of this.

"Baby girl, /fetiță/..." Bucky sounded like he was in so much pain and Calla bit her lip harshly as she watched.

"River wouldn't stand for a Guppy to be hurt or upset..." she mumbled to herself before she slipped by, and she was pretty sure by the Companion's expression that earned her a look of shock from everybody else. She bent her knees a bit whens he was halfway through the room, which was the acceptable distance without being growled at, and reached her hands out, "C'mon, little guppy. The nice doctor is going to get you all fixed up, and once you're in her territory, you know what you can do?" she smiled warmly.

Angelina slowly let her hands go from her scalp and her teeth pulled away from her now-bleeding lip. She stared at Calla, still in complete and total shock. /Guppy/. She licked her lips and looked to Bucky before looking at Calla. Her interest clearly piqued on what it was that she could do once she was in her territory. She was also interested in that word. "Guppy". She heard of Pups before. But /Guppy/.

"You can hug Bucky all you want," Calla soothed gently, "So just come along, and be good, and that'll be your reward. Hmm? What'ya say?"

"My territory is mine." Teresa watched as Angelina looked over at her. "Calla's right. Fury has no place in my area. No cameras. No microphones." She gave Angelina a kind smile. "You're free to do whatever you want. Within reasons."

It was probably the fastest Steve ever seen someone scramble upwards, at the same time trying to look like she /wasn't/ about to drag Bucky up and with her. It broke his heart really, to see this. To see her looking so lost and helpless. That just the /idea/ that she could have just a few /moments/ to touch and hug Bucky...Steve had to remind himself to breathe. He was definitely going to get them /out/ of this room. If not a break out, then into a new room without the damn security. Fury /owed/ him that son of a bitch.

"Good! That's it, little guppy," Calla praised, grasping her shoulders and Buck quickly moved out of the way so they could leave the room.

"Take the elevator...just give her space, unless she deems otherwise. I'll go on the stairs with Steve and Dr. Rivera," Bucky felt that if this woman...Agent Thomas? Was able to get his charge out when he couldn't, then she deserved the respect of leading her to the safety of the Doctor's office.

Angelina looked over at Bucky with a sad pitiful look on her face and Steve smiled. He figured that Angelina probably thought that if they took the elevator together, they could make a run for it. "I didn't know you liked fish, Calla." He looked at Calla interested. "Do you have your own aquarium at home?"

"Not...an aquarium. I grew up on the oceans of California, and I still go out on the oceans and the river around here. I'm more...into mermaids," Calla explained with a blush, "My...friend, River, is also into mermaids so we bonded over that, I guess. She convinced me to get a yacht and we decorated it with seashells and mermaid figurines and all sorts of knick-knacks like that...even though I just wanted a smaller boat, she wouldn't let me after the last one capsized." They reached the elevator and stairs and she pushed the call button while Steve opened the door to let Teresa and Bucky through.

"Wow, east coast meets west coast much." Steve said amused. "What brought you all the way over to New York?"

"I just had to leave," Calla said that a bit more clipped than she intended, "Sorry. Let me rephrase. Personal reasons brought me here, and it was also good for my friend. Wicker actually got me hired here at S.H.I.E.L.D."

Steve nodded, and let the conversation drop. "How does Wicker know you? I will not be surprised if he's into mermaids, considering all of the manga he reads."

Calla giggled a bit at that, the tension that had accidentally been created dissolving just as quickly. Unfortunately, the elevator reached them and Buck went through the door to the stairs while Calla coaxed the Companion into the elevator, "I'll tell you more while Teresa's taking care of her," she promised, pressing the button for the second floor where their destination was.

"I don't know /who/ she is, Steve, but that's impressive, how she handled Companion," was the first thing Buck said as he started up, following Teresa's lead.

"It really was something." Steve agreed as he walked along with Bucky. "I was scared for a moment that Companion was going to think that I was trying to trick you. Or that you were being tricked."

"Yet she didn't, which is good. Guppy, though? Seems like a Little Mermaid fan," Buck shook his head, and he reached out, grasping Steve's shoulder. He felt...relief wash over him at finally touching Steve. As far as he could tell, there were no cameras on the stairs, and Teresa was mainly focused on helping Angelina to notice them, either.

"Probably." Steve smiled warmly as he did the same motion to Bucky, just happy to be able to touch him as well. "I can't blame her." He said after a moment. "Why is she named Companion?" He asked, curiously. "Does she help you with anything? I mean, mentally wise? I heard of people who are "companions" for the elderly. Friends and what not."

"Yes...yes she does. When I get lost in my own head, she starts talking. Just...ramblings, random information or trivia about this or that. About dolphins or spirits stuck in walls or whatever gadget she's building. It gives me something else to focus on besides the darkness and memories...the memories I /don't/ want to see but do anyway, instead of the ones I /want/ to remember," Buck clarified, "She's clumbsy, by the way. That's how I met her. She almost got run over by a train because she tripped on the tracks."

"She...almost got ran over by a /train/!?" Steve stared at Bucky incredulously. "Jesus. Wow. She just rambles about anything to everything huh?" Just to keep his mind from getting too dark. He wondered how much of that was benefiting her. Probably a lot. She was able to speak without judgement and if Bucky was helped by it, then all the better. "Spirits in walls." He mused.

"She was wondering if they can get stuck and figured it'd be really cramped," Buck nodded, and finally let his arm drop. Teresa had long since gone ahead of them, "Let's go...if we stay too long they'll wonder, and the pretty agent has a story to tell."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:12 pm

After a moment, they reached the office and Calla looked up, "I was wondering if you two got lost. Barnes, Teresa took Companion in there," she motioned to the x-ray room, the door open and lights on.

"Looks like Teresa's good news too. Unless...did you tell her something about Dr. Rivera that made her comfortable?" Steve asked curiously.

"No, not at all. She got concerned because you two were taking so long and Teresa said they could at least get set up while they waited but wouldn't do anything until Bucky got here," Calla explained.

Bucky nodded, "Then I'll go in there," he said easily and walked over and into the room, meeting Angelina halfway as she jumped up into his arms. He could only support her with one, but she didn't mind at all, "Hey, baby," he cooed.

"She misses you." Teresa watched as Angelina hugged him tightly, nuzzling his neck and breathing in his scent. "Of course that's just an obvious observation." Angelina let go of Bucky after a moment, but stayed glued to his side. "When you were...is she biologically yours?"

"No! No. I found her, saved her. We traveled together and got close. She belongs to somebody else, though we haven't found them yet," Buck explained, patting Angelina's head while Teresa got things positioned for the x-ray, and gripped her collar when the lights turned off, "You didn't have to punch the wall," he scolded, though only lightly.

"That face she's making, tells me a whole other story." Teresa smiled as she gently motioned for Angelina to come a little closer and motioned her to stay still. Angelina didn't say anything about the wall, but...the small growl and whimper that she made was probably all of the acknowledgement that Bucky was going to get about the incident.

Back outside, Steve had sat down next to Calla, "You asked how I know Dylan. I giggled because I met him through a second friend of mine, Vince, who had gone with River to a convention and they met Wicker there. He kinda came home with them, like a stray puppy. It was pretty cute, really. They took such a liking to him over the three-day weekend and Dylan discovered I needed a job even though my parents paid for a house, and here I am."

"That's good timing and a coincidence." Steve grinned. "So, tell me a little about Vince and River? They're into the same things that Dylan's into, so I guess we can't say he's the only one who knows /anything/ about that stuff anymore."

"Vince has a really...uncanny ability to see through people. River and I tell him he could be a detective, but instead he became a librarian," Calla rolled her pale green eyes, "River and I opened up a shop on the side to sell my paintings and her knitted work, crochet and cross-stitch alike."

"She does needlework?" Steve blinked. It's been forever since he heard of someone actually picking up those types of crafts. Cross-stitch he thought for sure was dead and gone since no one's really done anything. "Do you know about what they're into? Like, do they have favorite...what does Dylan call it...manga?" He looked sheepish. "Or the shows that are based off on them...?"

"River and Dylan bonded over Death Note," Calla made a face, "River dressed as Mello and Dylan was Matt and they hit it off, making fans jealous and happy at the same time. Vince went as Kyoya from Ouran High School Host Club. I had to take care of the shop so I didn't get to go. I would've enjoyed taking pictures," she lamented with a pout. Then she smiled at Steve, "I'll tell you a secret, the day I ran into you in the coffee shop was my first day working for S.H.I.E.L.D."

Steve blinked. "I should've realized. I don't pay a whole lot of attention in the work place like I should. I'm sorry." He rubbed the back of his neck. "It sounds really interesting. I never heard of any of that before. So how did you meet River and Vince if you don't mind me asking?"

"I shouldn't give out all my secrets at once," Calla gave him a small teasing smile, "That's personal like the reason I left Cali."

"That sounds to me she's cutting you off," Buck chuckled as he left the x-ray room with Angelina clinging to his back like a monkey, his only usable arm twisted back to support her, "The results are printing in her actual office. Time to see just how bad you need a cast or if you can survive with a brace," he said over his shoulder.

Steve was a little thrown off by the sight. The last time Bucky had a little girl on his back was in the 1930's with his baby sisters. Rebecca always demanded piggy back rides from him. He smiled sadly at the sight. Angelina wouldn't go back. Bucky probably would have to do his best to convince her but...even then.

"Oh...Steve, right. We had backpacks. You might be interested in them. I didn't want to bring them up in that damn box," Buck told his friend, "You might find her lunchbox really cute. They're probably with Fury. Mine's just a normal backpack, black, red trim. Companion has more of a dufflebag type backpack. I don't know how such a little thing carries so much. It's very shimmery, black and silver."

"It's like Mary Poppin's magic bag." Steve couldn't help but to joke as he watched Angelina stare at him. He was a little unnerved. She looked like she was trying to see right through him or do x-ray vision or what not. "I'll get your stuff for you."

Bucky set Angelina down in Teresa's office while she got the print-outs and then put them up. He took his Companion's outstretched hand when he approached. She missed him. She missed his scent, his touch. She missed the friendship. She missed talking to him, but she knew that if they were going to survive this place, she needed to keep her mouth shut. No matter how hard it was. She just hoped it'll be over soon. "How do you plan on getting them back? Let me make a wild guess. Natalia."

"Pretty much." Steve agreed. "She likes doing things like that and I'm certain it's a challenge she'll like. Or hate." He shrugged. He looked at Teresa. "So, what's the verdict? Cast or will she be fine in a splint?"

"I want to say cast." Teresa mused, "Of course Natasha would like it if you gave her a challenge every once in a while. She's starting to think you doubt her abilities." At Steve's surprise, she smiled. "So, while I was doing the x-rays I can't help but to notice that I didn't ask you a couple of things." She looked at Bucky. "Is she allergic to any medication that you know of and does she have anything medically that I should know about before doing anything at all. Headaches, past surgeries..."

(Doctors don't ask that question.) Angelina scooted herself backwards on the bed, bringing her legs up into a ball as she watched Bucky wondering what he was going to say. Would he make up an illness? Or would he be clean with her?

"Would you be upset with me if I told her?" Buck asked her gently, "You don't have to take what you don't want to if she offers medicine, unless they're painkillers," he promised.

Angelina knew that being upset with Bucky meant no touching and not talking, which were the two things that were already happening. So there was really no point. She shook her head and lowered her chin to her knee, eyes flicking to Calla and Steve who were patiently watching the interaction, clearly waiting for /someone/ to try to invade Dr. Rivera's area.

"From what I've experienced, she has schizophrenia and anxiety. Claustrophobia is an obvious one, though not really a medical issue it does affect her. She's allergic to amoxicillin and sulfa medication. An immunity of sorts to morphine, too. It's weird, it doesn't knock her out, but it does make her dopey and she doesn't remember anything she says while she's on it," Bucky listed, "She scratches her arms like that because she doesn't /like/ her own skin, not so much to /try/ and hurt herself. She also has chronic pains."

"Migraines are probably an issue too." Teresa looked at Angelina with a bit of sadness. "I hate to tell you this, but I'm not a therapist. But I know for a fact that you're under a lot of stress, and that's probably setting you off a lot more too." She looked at the scratches on Angelina's arm and she sighed. "On a good day, one through ten, how much pain do you feel? One being none at all, and ten being so bad you can't move?"

Angelina did a sea-saw motion and held up a three before holding up a four.

"Scratching...that sounds a lot like River..." Calla frowned really deeply, almost to the point of looking like grumpy cat.

Teresa sighed softly. "Well. I think you're going to need a cast." She looked at Angelina sadly. "I'm going to superglue those scratches, since none are deep enough for stitches. Then I'm going to wrap them. Once I do that, I'm going to talk to Nick and I'm going to see about moving you to a different room, or at least to see a therapist. Both probably." She sighed. "Of course, judging from your expression Bucky, therapy is a no-go. So, we'll have to deal with the pains and the casting. I really wish Nick will ease up on the both of you. You need jail-free time. Not...mindlessly dying in a cell."

"We're dangerous and they don't even consider her human," Buck murmured, leaning close to Angelina and nosing her hair, kissing the top of her head, "I like Wicker. He's been there a few times when we /are/ let out for showers. He's always looking after Companion."

"Maybe we should get him to hang out with you more." Steve looked at Angelina. "Would you like that? For him to get to know you as a friend, rather as a guard?"

"That might be good for you," Calla smiled at her, "I can let him know. Would you also like if I brought things for you to do? I can even suggest him to bring some of his manga."

Angelina thought about it and looked at Bucky, giving him what Steve dubbed the "lost" look. He noticed that it was...a look she often sometimes gave him. She didn't have any guidance till now on how to deal with people. Steve inhaled sharply. People were just as strange as they treated her as if she was strange.

"I think it's a wonderful thought," Buck assured, "What would you bring for her to do, Calla?"

"I do cross-stitching for fun instead of to sell, and I also make watercolor paintings and make prints out of them. I can bring my watercolor things and the stitching stuff," Calla explained, "Things that'll be manageable with her busted hand, since it's not her dominate side."

"If you make me watercolor paintings I can put them in my cell," Buck told Angelina with a smile, "Won't that be fun?"

Angelina nodded before looking down and fidgeting again with her gown. Steve frowned, watching her for a moment. Did she...even know what the word "Fun" was? Did Bucky? What was fun for them nowadays? What got them to relax? What made Bucky's eyes light up with passion and what made Angelina laugh?

Buck kissed her cheek, "Let's Teresa take care of you, and I'm sure when Calla comes back tomorrow you'll find out what you like."

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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:14 pm

"Excuse me, young man, may I have access to the Companion's cell?"

Wicker looked up and jumped, fumbling with his book as he lost grip on it and he held it to his chest once he caught it safely, "Miss Pepper Pots! I didn't expect you here!" He noticed she had a box in her arms, though it wasn't very big. "Agent Wicker, at your service, and uh, Companion is currently reading my entire collection of the manga Death Note, which is super intense, so just announce your actions before you do anything if she doesn't look up. M-May I see what's in the box? S-Security, is all."

"Calm down, I understand," Pepper smiled warmly at him, popping the lid so he could look inside. It was just a broken female doll with a multitude of parts, clothes, different eyeball colors and wigs. "I'll be extremely careful, I know it's been a few days since everybody's started taking care of her, but she's still at the cautionary stage. How long have the two of them been here, anyway, before Steve found out?"

"About three weeks, since mid-May," Wicker answered easily, "Today marks a month."

"No wonder they're losing their minds," Pepper mumbled, "May I go inside now?"

Dylan brought his card out and knocked first in a specific rhythm before swiping the card and opening the door, "Companion! You have a new visitor!" No response, but he shrugged and let Pepper walk through before he joined her, standing in the corner beside the door as it closed.

"I'm going to the desk," Pepper hummed softly and her heels clicked as she moved towards it. The little girl was laying on her stomach, legs kicked up in the air, gown hiked up mid-thigh, and her head was resting in the case of her left hand, nose buried deep in the book that had a bunch of panels like a comic magazine did. "I'm putting a box down," she said a little louder, the box thumping just a bit a second later.

The box was what really caught her attention. She looked up from her manga and blinked. The woman had fiery red hair, and she was dressed in a elegant sort of fashion that was quite out of place for the dreary cell. She pushed herself up slowly, more out of curiosity rather than caution. Who was this woman? She got up on her knees and pushed herself without needing to use her hands, up to her feet. She glanced down at the box, and tilted her head. Her eyes flicked back to the woman, and she tilted her head another direction, as if she was making a decision, or waiting for a response.

"I'm Pepper, it's nice to meet you. I've heard a lot about you from Steve," Pepper explained, sitting down and motioned to the box, "Go ahead, open it. It's for you. I heard you're bored, and I wanted to see if you would like this."

She walked over towards the box, a little assured now that she knew that Steve knew her. She carefully took the box and slid it closer to her and opened it. She blinked a little in surprise as she pulled out a female doll. She had clothes, eyes, wigs, but she still needed her body to be put together. Luckily the doll came with elastic string, and a piece of ribbon. She picked up the doll’s face, an innocent, wide-eyed sculpt. The make up was gorgeously done as well, making the doll look youthful and soulful.

Bucky would find this interesting. She placed the broken pieces on the desk, arranging them as neatly as she could so she could start fixing it when she had a chance. She looked through the wings and decided on a blonde, long wavy one and set it to the side. She picked out purple eyes and hummed softly underneath her breath.

Realizing that the woman was still sitting there, no not woman, Pepper. She glanced at her curiously and pointed at the doll she had just finished arranging the most basic things to, pointed at herself and then pointed at the cell. Was it really hers to keep here and was it alright?

"If you like it enough to fix it, you can keep it," Pepper promised her, "I wanted to fix it myself, but haven't had the time. If you can read, can you write?"

She nodded, but then put her finger to her lips. She tapped it a few times and brought it down to her chest, her finger still pointing up. Even though Steve figured out how to become a wall, he hadn't figured out how to become the eyes. People have started to try their best to become walls too, but Steve knew how to do it. Subtly she pointed over at Dylan. It became a little game of theirs, for him to bring in manga, and to slip in a blank piece of paper that they could communicate on. It was simple, little things like bitching about a character or a setting or even the author itself. If anything, it was useless information to the masses. But it kept the eyes off of Dylan's back, which was what she needed. Pepper on the other hand, she wasn't certain if eyes were on her or not.

Pepper slowly reached for her breast pocket and took out one of those mini notebooks with the pen attached. Clicking the pen after taking it out, she wrote in it and then passed it over, the casing keeping it from being seen. 'No eyes. Fury cannot touch me.' "Everything in the box is yours. I'm just wondering what you'll name your new little friend."

No eyes. Which meant the walls couldn't touch her either. Quietly she placed the paper in her hand, crumpling it. She would wait until Pepper was gone to swallow it or hide it somewhere in the manga. She could trust Dylan to keep a secret. "Maria." She smiled, eyes crinkling at the corners.

Dylan stared at her for a long moment while Pepper just beamed brightly. She /spoke/. To Pepper. Granted it was just one word, a name, but he'd never heard her voice unless she was singing obnoxiously to Bucky. He found he ended up smiling, too, "That's a gorgeous name!" he praised.

"I think so, too. I hope once you fix her, Maria can be somebody you can talk to instead of the walls," she cooed and she slowly stood up, going around the desk, making sure she could track her every movement, "May I?" she asked, referring to touch as she held her hand out, palm up.

Angelina stared at Pepper's hand for a moment. She took a breath and gently brought her hand and gently placed it upon Pepper's, facing down. She made a soft sound at the back of her throat, close to a whine or a whimper, it was uncertain. It wasn't painful, but...she just wanted that closeness. She wanted Bucky to touch her again, to feel like she was wanted. Needed. She stepped closer, before scaring herself and stepping back, but her hand remained in Pepper's.

"Shhh, it's okay, dear," Pepper soothed, taking the other hand and stoking the top of her head, leaning down and kissing her forehead, "It's okay, don't push yourself out of your comfort zone too fast. I gotta go now, but I hope to see you again. Would you like that?" she asked her.

Angelina nodded, having closing her eyes at the stroke and was a little surprised to feel a kiss on her forehead. As Pepper was walking away, Angelina began singing. "Zydrate comes in a little glass vial. A little glass vial? A little glass vial, and the little glass vial goes into the gun like a battery. And the zydrate gun goes somewhere against your anatomy. When the gun goes off, it sparks, and you're ready for surgery."

Pepper glanced at her with a raised brow and Dylan's jaw was dropped. A moment passed and Pepper just smiled, "You have a lot of people who want to protect you, so nothing bad is going to happen if we have anything to say about it. Thank you," she said before Wicker opened the door and she left the two of them.

Dylan looked back at her, "You've got a pretty voice. I'm sure you'll be able to fix Maria right up." With that, he grinned and waved, closing the door behind him.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:16 pm

Steve had the two backpacks on his coffee table. Natasha had just dropped them off and she told him that Pepper had came by to see Angelina. He knew that Pepper being in the prison was probably going to send a phone call, Nick was probably not going to be pleased with the fact that Pepper Potts came by to see her, but in all honesty, he didn’t care. Pepper was, and always would be, someone that saw the superheroes as what they were. She would see Angelina and Bucky for exactly who they were.

Nick couldn’t even give them that type of benefit. He took Angelina’s bag, a sparkly silver and black duffle and carefully opened it. Inside, there was a Captain America tin lunch box with his picture on the front of it, tossing the shield at some unknown enemy. He shook it, and listened to whisper of paper hitting the box. Flicking it open, he laughed. Inside was nothing but gauze, tape, bandages, scissors, antiseptic wipes, and many other things. He set it aside, closing the box. Bucky must have remembered all the times that he had bandaged up Steve from a fight in an alleyway.

He pulled out a couple of notebooks, worn and well-read. A picture slipped through one of the pages and he carefully picked it up from the floor. The picture was of Angelina, arm swung around a man’s waist and a bright, cheerful smile on her face. The man was wearing sunglasses, thumbs-up, with a five o’ clock shadow on his face. Steve could swear that he recognized the background of the picture to be located somewhere in Germany. He couldn’t think of where it might’ve been.

He flipped over the picture, and saw Picture taken for Lydia. in neat cursive handwriting. Steve’s eyebrows furrowed, because he didn’t recognize the name. Lydia? Who was Lydia? Did Bucky know a Lydia? No…this picture dated back years. He knew it was years because Angelina didn’t look so beaten up. She still had a wild look in her eyes, but they were more stabilized.

The man in that picture must have been someone important. Steve set the picture on top of the notebooks and continued digging through. There were more notebooks, but these were newer. Steve flipped a couple of pages and he read one of the paragraphs.

Oh Mary, contrary how does your garden grow?
With torture and murder
and rivers of blood flow.
How will you get out of the voir dire?
A raven says to meet you at the gallows.


That was from a nursery rhyme. Steve closed the book, knowing that this was probably private and Angelina wouldn’t be too happy that he snooped around, reading her private thoughts. He continued to dig through her bag and took out two other things. One was box that was covered in nothing but wires and a little knob with a radio frequency screen from a car stereo. He turned it on and winced when he got nothing but a loud shriek. It wasn’t just for an at home radio. He doubted it. It was specifically used for something else.

Though he was certain…he turned on the radio again and turned it to the local news station that he sometimes listened to. The voices crackled over the static and Steve nodded his head. So news stations and radio frequencies. He set the box down and took out another one. /This/ one was a little different.

This looked to be some sort of prototype for a type of gun. Right now, it looked to be like a stun gun. Steve didn’t dare shoot it, he didn’t know what would happen if he tried. However, it made him realize that Angelina was smart. Super, super, smart if she was able to create these things from a junkyard.

Inside a small pocket he came across a range of knives. Bowie, combat, swiss, and a couple of daggers. The Combat and Bowie seemed to get the most use, he noticed that the edging was getting dull.

What would she use them for? Why a stun gun prototype if that was it? He would have to ask Tony what it really was. He knew that Bucky would try to arm Angelina. It was the only way to keep her safe while traveling with an assassin but…

Why did Angelina travel with him?

He never got an answer to that. Not really.

He pushed the stuff back into her bag and zipped it up before turning his attention on Bucky’s and pulled out things.

The bag itself was fairly unassuming, and would easily blend with a multitude of environments and the red would help locate it if one knew what to look for. It wasn’t as stuffed full as Angelina’s either. The bare minimum, if that. There was one of those water jugs that filtered the water as you drank it. Many, many passports and just as many if not more knives of varying shapes and sizes stuffed /everywhere/ so he had to be careful where he stuck his hand. Small airport-approved containers of shampoo and conditioner, a bar of soap, and in one of the back binder pockets were a few rain proof cover and even some for the cold weather, neatly folded for efficiency.

Among the basic survival and mix-matched supplies for hygiene, were journals like Angelina’s. Except, not as neatly arranged. Some were beaten up and very warn, others were newer, and they were mostly black, some dark blue. Papers were torn out and taped to other pages if he was rearranging the order of which he wrote things down. There were news clippings and there were pictures...of Natasha, as well as many of Steve both in and out of uniform.

The writing changed from time to time, if Steve could pinpoint where to lay his eyes first. Sometimes it was cursive, sometimes it was chicken scratch, other times it was a simple neat print. All Bucky, and as each one was read it was determined each handwriting style was for each mental state he was in.

A lot of the chicken scratch was when he woke from nightmares and was trying to write quickly. There were smudges from what could possibly be tears when they hit the page and mucked up the ink. Nightmares about being in HYDRA captivity, nightmares about World War 2. Nightmares about Steve and either killing him or losing him or both. Oftentimes, the nightmares portrayed how worthless and hopeless he felt.

Goddamn it, Steve! Why are you so bright? I tried to follow you, I did, but I couldn’t /see/ anything. I don’t want to be in the dark anymore, but do I even belong where you are? The moon is mocking me with her rays, and there’s blood on my hands even though I’ve been good. I haven’t killed anybody in a long time. Would you be proud of me?

The neat print tended to be when Bucky was rambling, just jotting down this and that, whatever came to mind. Lists and notes were in this format, too.

‘With you ‘til the end of the line’ huh? Your stupid face must like getting punched with how you let me beat the shit out of you, idiot. Why do you do this to me? They tortured me, you know, after you called out to me on the bridge and I went back to report. They didn’t like my ‘attitude’ and I was wracking my brain trying to figure out who you were. It boggled my mind that someone /knew/ who I /was/ and I just wanted to know how and why you did. They didn’t like that at all.

The cursive, though...the cursive was almost like a code in itself, written so fluidly with little dots the only indicator where he would stop and think. Definitely the Soldier state of mind.

Query? Birthdays...are meant to be a means of entertainment? Had to put birthday of ‘Bucky’ for the museum for temporary income. Coworkers who approved of me gave cupcakes. Assessment...chocolate with plain frosting is acceptable, flavored icing and white cake is not. Unfortunate Asset has to leave soon for new destination. Confirm. Have to keep moving. Risk of hideout being compromised rises each day. Assessment...friendly neighborhoods also nosy. Confirm? Confirm.

Steve choked a laugh as he read the last entry and closed the book. Museum. He wondered if it was a natural and science museum that he worked at. Bucky was the type who liked science and all sorts of things that came with it. He was smart, mathematician and a general sponge of knowledge. He kept Steve’s head afloat when they had tests and homework. Bucky had to rely on him for history and anything artsy.

It made him miss Bucky a lot. It made him wish that he had found him sooner. He placed the notebook on the table and thought about his options. As the Companion gained more attention, Bucky continued to refuse to answer anything about Hydra, the confinement and about his Companion at all. If the conversation went to Angelina, Bucky turned it on himself by incriminating himself further.

Steve had to admit, Nick had aces. Angelina clearly had something to hide in her bag. A picture of a man who wanted to send a picture to a woman named Lydia. It was good leverage. Perhaps that was a family member, or maybe it was someone very important to Angelina. Whatever or whoever it was, Nick was probably using it against her, or was trying to find a way to use it against her.

Bucky had so many things against him, the only choices he had were to go to prison and never see light of day again or to agree to become something for S.H.I.E.L.D. Neither were pleasing, but Steve knew that confinement was wearing them down.

Steve had options. Nick might be using Angelina as leverage, as a reward/punishment against Bucky, but clearly he had something he wanted from her as well. However, Steve knew Bucky better than Nick. There wasn’t much Nick could use against Bucky besides Angelina and prison, but Bucky trusted Steve.

He picked up the phone and dialed Natasha.

“I thought I gave you the bags?” Natasha answered as she picked up on first ring.

“You knew Bucky back in the Red Room, right?” Steve remembered Natasha telling him, during the late night researches and futile prayers. Natasha wanted him to be prepared for everything, every dark secret, every mystery.

“He did. He was a good trainer.” Natasha said slowly. “Where is this coming from?”

“We need to somehow, someway start processing Bucky into the Avengers.” Steve said slowly. “I’m certain Nick wants him to remain a field agent.”

“But whose better to go up with Captain America but the infamous sniper from the 107th himself?” Natasha hummed. “You and Nick are playing a very dangerous game with two dangerous people.”

“I know Bucky’s dangerous. But Companion’s sick.” Steve said sharply. “Any longer in that cell…”

“So make a deal. You’re known for those.” Natasha quipped. “Bucky and Companion’s freedom. But you’ll have to give up something in return.”

Secrets. Possibly anything that had to do with Hydra and the confinement that they endured. Perhaps it had something to do with Steve himself. He could see Nick putting him on the sidelines, or something. “Why do you say Companion’s dangerous?”

“You should look up what happened to Hydra in England in December.” Natasha told him quietly. “Then you should decide if Companion is really the person you want to free, or if it’s Bucky. I'd start small if I were you. Then work your way up to more and more time, unless they decide that for themselves."

Natasha sighed over the phone. “Look, I know you Steve. You’re going to save them both even if it costs you everything you hold dear. But I also know that you’re going to destroy S.H.I.E.L.D again in the process. You are the Leader of the Avengers. Nick can’t really go up against you…without losing us. So you’re going to have to decide on whether or not Companion and Bucky are the /best/ you can come up with for a treaty.”

“Treaties break all the time.” Steve told Natasha.

“Which is why I don’t trust Americans.” Natasha’s joke was deadpanned and dry, making Steve grin. “But you’re right. Promises get broken all the time. Nick certainly doesn’t have a strong record of keeping them.”

“Thanks, Tash. You’re awesome.”

“You owe me drinks.” Natasha replied as she hung up.

()
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Mon Aug 22, 2016 11:21 pm

The door was pushed opened with enthusiasm that made Angelina scramble up from her bed to kneel and watch as Wicker walked in with more manga. Some a continuation of series that she dubbed that she liked. She walked over to the tables with a hum as she looked at the new series that he had brought her. Sailor Moon was in there, as well as Madoka. She flipped through the books casually and found the piece of paper that they passed back and forth with each other. Plenty of conversations happened, mostly about books but this one was different.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 2:36 pm

/I want to talk to you today, instead of just notes. I brought pens and more paper/ When she looked up he was holding up a multitude of colored pens and a notebook, a huge grin on his face. "I can also play my spotify on my phone for music," he added.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 3:01 pm

Angelina stared at him and looked at the notebooks and the pens. She took a blue pen out of his hand and she watched as he set the notebook down. She flipped it to the first page and she thought about it. It was dangerous for the notes to be in here, but she trusted that Wicker would take the notebook. Talk to me? She turned the page to face him, giving him a confused look.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:26 pm

"Yes! I mean, I have been able to figure out how you think a little bit from how you rant to me about whatever manga you've read, which is cool. I..." He shifted and sat down, using a yellow pen to write with, /I want to get to know you better personally. Is that okay?/ while she read the note, he brought out his phone and brought out his music, setting it off to the side and he watched her reply.


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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 6:07 pm

Angelina looked at the note and listened as he placed on some music. Something rock. She held the note closely to her chest and stared down at her feet. Bucky said that it was okay. That this was okay. She knew that the cameras and the microphones would pick up the conversation, and the notes could be stolen and Fury would take them. She felt like giving up.

Bucky had told her once before that there would come a day where he may be locked up forever. He warned her that should that day come, she was supposed to get out. She wasn't supposed to stay. But then Hydra took them captive and the promise went out the window. Angelina and Bucky did their utmost to obey, to disobey. Then they wound up here. Bucky unfrozen and Angelina more nuttier than a fruit cake.

She was going to lose her sanity and her mind. How long could she go before the animal takes over and they see her exactly as they saw her the entire time? Would she die here? Bucky wouldn't let it happen...but.

She capped the pen and placed the notebook on the table. She licked her lips and took a breath. She knew she was going to hurt. That she was going to /be/ hurt. She glanced over at Maria who was sitting on her desk, purple eyes staring endlessly at something only dolls could see.

"I've done all of this before." She admitted softly. "Not as this long. Not for this long." She looked up at Wicker. "You're not one of them. You're like us. Exactly like us. Without Dante. Without the serum."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:45 pm

"Is that so? I don't think I'm anything special. I'm just an ordinary guy, but that's okay, since I'm making friends with strange people, anyway. My first name is Dylan, if you want to call me that. Wicker's okay, too," he shrugged, "Dante?" he asked offhandedly.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:51 pm

"Other-self." Angelina explained as she sat down next to him, crossing her legs and looking at the song that was playing on his phone. "Didn't have a choice, couldn't have a choice." She leaned her head back. She took the notebook and uncapped the pen. In a scrawl she wrote:

You're dangerous because you don't belong to S.H.I.E.L.D or Hydra. You're not crazy like me or an assassin. Something tempted you to become S.H.I.E.L.D. But you're dangerous cuz you don't think like that, you don't act like that. People call you weak for it, but they don't know. They don't know that gun's not for show. You know how to kill. I feel bad for you because I know that if S.H.I.E.L.D finds out that you're dangerous, you'll be locked up too. Or maybe they'll use you. I hope that when we escape one day, you'll come with us. You're more than that.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:23 pm

/They would probably use me/ Dylan wrote in return. She had him wondering and he stared at her for a long moment, keeping the notebook tilted so they couldn't read it over the camera. They would no doubt want to confiscate this notebook once he left. An idea came to mind, and he looked at her curiously to see if she really /did/... 'I could rip out anything incriminating we write and flush it down the toilet.'


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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:29 pm

"They probably would and that's a good idea." Angelina nodded her head solemnly. "The walls are chatty and the eyes like seeing things." She looked up at the camera that she knew was there and stuck her tongue out and blew a raspberry. "I won't let them though and I know you won't let them too."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:32 pm

"I probably won't be allowed back to write to you," Dylan sighed, "This is going to get me in enough trouble they'll just stick me outside the door permanently." He smiled at her like Christmas came early, 'That's okay, though, because now I know something they don't. Can you hear me out there?'
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 10:38 pm

"Don't know." Angelina blinked. "I've been focused on the walls and the eyes." She tilted her head. "No they won't. Cuz Dr. Rivera said you were good for my recovery." She took the notebook and carefully started writing.

So they use you without knowing that we're using them. Maybe we can get out faster, maybe not. I'm scared though because Bucky has no one but Steve to talk to. Talk to him too. Tell him you're a friend and I made that decision all on my own. Tell him that and he'll believe you. I promise. She thought for a moment.

I miss the sun. She passed the notebook back to Dylan.
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:50 pm

"I bet you do," Wicker paused, before he tore out the paper, ripped it up in a bunch of pieces, and went to her sectioned off bathroom, flushing the pieces and she heard Angelina get out of the chair, "Sorry, if the walls started freaking out. You said it was a good idea." He walked back to her and held his hand out to her, "May I touch you?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Tue Aug 23, 2016 11:58 pm

Angelina stared at him, a little bit in horror but at the same time in yearning. She managed to soak up as much Bucky love as she could when they were in Teresa's office, but now that she was locked back up again and still hadn't so much seen him unless it was in the showers....she was starting to miss it.

"I think you're safe with me." Angelina said after a moment. "Okay. But...no where on my chest or down that direction. Got it? My head and arms are fine. So is my back. Hands count too."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:09 am

Dylan's face turned beat red, "I wasn't going to do anything like that. I just want your hand. I should ask permission from Fury for this, but...whatever. You gotta promise to come back with me, though. I can give you the sun, but only for a little while."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Wed Aug 24, 2016 12:26 am

Angelina blinked as she gave him her hand. She felt him tug and she followed him as he walked out of the cell. She squeezed his hand tightly as she looked over at Bucky's cell. She knew that Dylan was already in enough trouble, giving her this. She couldn't ask for a favor.

She followed him, his mind blissfully easy to read. He was determined. He wanted her to see things. He didn't like the way S.H.I.E.L.D was treating them. Treating her. He felt bad. He felt bad that she was abused to think that there were two kinds of touches, a bad and a good. He was happy. Pleased. That he was able to do this, that it was a comfort and that he was safe to her.

Angelina relaxed.

Dylan wasn't a liar. He wasn't S.H.I.E.L.D. Nor Hydra.

He was a Resistance Member.

What could his codename be?

Bucky could figure that out. Angelina walked up a little closer and rested her head against the base of Wicker's neck.

"Why are you kind to me?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Wed Aug 24, 2016 9:25 am

"Because...its not your fault and everyone around here is treating you like it is," Dylan grumbled, and avoided an Agent before they were spotted. Frowning, he waited patiently, 'These guys...so brainless and unobservant...' He sighed before they moved out to the hall again and made a few more turns. Soon, they reached the place he wanted her to see and opened the door. It was a huge, beautiful garden that had a glass ceiling to let the light in. Flowers of many sorts, thick, tall trees. "Here we are."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Wed Aug 24, 2016 3:57 pm

Angelina let go his hand and she ran into the room, careful not to trip over any of the plants. She spun around in a circle, arms outstretched as she took in the sights and the small warmth of the sun from the green house. She could smell soil that was just richly soaked in water. She could smell the different flowers all singing and the trees.

The trees were so big. She ran over to the nearest one and she happily spun around it before she ran over to see the flowers. The poppies, the orchids that were hiding in the shade. She was happy to see marigolds and a rose bush. She was pleased with the herbs of lavender and rosemary blooming. She could see other plants too. Some with orange leaves, some with dark green. Some she couldn't even name, but admire anyway.

She finally collapsed near by a couple of trees, sitting on her crossed-legged style and she stared up at the tree.

"I love this." She announced. "I like this. Someone's in love with plants. The trees that are standing and the flowers that are all blooming was made by someone who was in love. S.H.I.E.L.D has another person here that does not belong. They can't belong here." She looked over at Dylan who took his time to get to her. "Dylan. Why do people join S.H.I.E.L.D?"
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:19 pm

"To fight the good fight, is what I thought," Dylan shook his head and he sat down beside her, "They are supposed to deal with the unnatural. I guess that's why they apply, hoping they'll get to see aliens and such. A lot of them are zenophobic, I discovered. They want to be able to /shoot/ those aliens. At the same time they praise Thor and he's a /God/, technically an alien. Do they think about that? No."
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PostSubject: Re: How to Mend a Broken Soul - REHASH   Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:26 pm

"Thor is Thor." Angelina looked at the tree. "I think that's why aliens don't want to come down here. I think they know they're not welcomed cuz of all those UFO stories of being abducted and what not. Oh sure, there's /bad/ aliens that do that. But the good aliens are the ones that are gonna get into trouble. Cuz apparently humans can't determine bad and good." She frowned deeply. "I don't get humans all that much and Bucky tells me I'm one. I'm /half/ of one." She looked at Dylan. "Gods are technically aliens." She told Dylan seriously. "I don't know how else you can say Mary got pregnant while being a virgin. Besides having sex out of wedlock, but that's too shocking for people."
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