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 Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair

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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:10 am

"What...is this?" James stared down at the plate that was set in front of him, full of cookies and brownies and fudge. Fresh baked. "Is this what you were doing all day? Is this why there's a five pound bag of sugar in the cupboard?" Lots of querys, way to go.

"Don't get mad." Angelina insisted immediately. "Dylan got upset we didn't have sugar. I didn't know what else it could be used for. So he broke out his baking cookbooks. We made these. It took us all day."

The first thing he reached for was the chocolate chip cookie on top, "You've tried them already, right?"

"I'm not dead." Angelina shrugged. "So I didn't poison it by mistake."

James hummed at that and took a bite already, chomping half of it in one go.

His brain had another reset.

Sweets. Good. Confirm.

"Dylan's good. I like him. We might need to get that dining table."

Angelina nodded. "Zan ate most of the chocolate chip cookies." After pouring nearly a cup full of flour down her brother's shirt because he didn't wake her up for "baking time".

James grinned at her, "Find out when she works next? You could go to the cafe, if you're alright walking that far alone."

"I think she works tomorrow. I'm not going." Angelina shook her head from side to side. "Not without you. Crowds. Dangerous."

"Okay. That's fine, one step at a time," he soothed, understanding as he had a piece of fudge stuck in his cheek, "We can go together. I'm staying hidden, though. Flying Sam and Uncle Steve go there after running."

"He drew Zan him holding a Bucky Bear." Angelina beamed.

A long pause at that. "He did...what?" A Bucky Bear? What the hell was a Bucky Bear? "I would have to see it to know what you're talking about. That can wait, though."

Angelina nodded and paused. "I don't know how to say hi to Uncle Steve without looking like a rabid fan girl. Probably have to ask Zan for help."

"She could be good to ask, if Uncle Steve likes her," James agreed, "You could probably get away with having her introduce you as a friend, which is quickly becoming true."

Angelina sighed as she leaned against him. "You need friends too." She murmured.

"In time, fetiță. It is making me very happy you are making friends. They might become my friends, too, later," he wrapped his arm around her shoulders and rubbed her arm, "Have one of your brownies. All of these are really good."

()
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sat Sep 24, 2016 12:10 pm

Zan was more than skeptic that she was trying to hide four people rather than the normal two. James insisted that he could be in someone else's section, but she was firm enough to keep him in hers. She let Angelina stay with him while she went over to Sam and Steve's table.

They were both dowsed in water, clearly from a water fight, and were murmuring over their cups of coffee. Zan grinned as she placed her tray against her hip. "So sugar." She said tapping the table to let them know that she was there. "I got a question for you."

"I might have an answer doll." Steve grinned back.

"I have a neighbor in my apartment building." She shifted. She hated asking Steve for favors. He got them too many times. He would be willing to help, she knew that. Still. "and-"

"Is he causing trouble?" Steve interrupted. "I can always-"

"Not trouble." Zan hastened. "God, no. She's just..." She shook her head. "Look. There's someone I think you should meet."

Steve looked at Sam and Sam exchanged a look back. Zan was right. This was beyond weird. For all Steve knew, it had something to do with Natasha. He was also trying to figure out how Bucky was going to contact him. Bucky probably gave another stranger a letter. Or maybe he was relying on Steve's trustworthiness to let people talk to him.

Bucky was getting more and more creative with contact. "Okay." Steve said easily enough, making Sam give him a look. "We'll meet her."

"Cool. I'll go grab her." She walked over to a table that had a man with a black hat on and a girl with white hair.
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:27 pm

"Just don't let him come over here..." James murmured. It was against his better judgment but her trusted her to protect him in her territory. Nudging Angelina he kept his head down. Nose stuffed into his surprise mocha.

Sam frowned, finding that more than suspicious. Keeping his back straight and staying on guard he watched as the white-haired girl came over slowly. "What's your name?" He decided to ask first.
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sat Sep 24, 2016 2:51 pm

"Angelina." Angelina answered promptly, shyly. Zan squeezed Angelina's shoulders tightly.

Steve looked at her. Really looked at this girl. She wore jeans that were faded blue, her shirt was a little lose. Her hair was white. Stark, stark white. There were a bunch of scars on her. Defensive and surgery wounds from the looks of it. They were mostly faded, like they'd been there since she was a tiny child.

But what tiny child could have those kinds of scars unless something happened? Steve shifted a little. The first thought was that experimentation could've been a thing. Another thought was abuse. He wasn't certain.

"I'm Steve. This is my best friend Sam." Steve decided to take a chance. Zan wouldn't have brought her over here if she was dangerous or a fan. "It's wonderful to meet you, Angelina."

Blue-green eyes widened and Steve felt a pang in his heart. Did..anyone never say that to her? She acted like it was the first time someone said that to her.

"Why don't you grab a chair and talk for a bit?" Zan said, already grabbing a chair and putting it on the end of the table. She nudged Angelina down. "I got her drink order already so I'll come back with that." She walked off, tapping Angelina's shoulder twice as she left.

"Good luck charm." Angelina noted as she watched Zan walk away. "Must be habit."


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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sat Sep 24, 2016 10:18 pm

Sam nodded to her slowly, "So you're Zan's neighbors? What do you do? For a job, I mean." He had a hard time looking at her hair the most. He wanted to ask, but not right away. Steve would get mad with him.
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sat Sep 24, 2016 11:29 pm

A job? Angelina panicked briefly because she didn’t know. “I like computers and I like machines?” She offered as her fingers twisted in her lap. “I like cars and motorbikes and things like that.”

Steve blinked. Was she just like Tony? Oh man, what would Stark say to competition like that? She didn’t seem to say anything about robotics, so presumably Tony’s trophy for building J.A.R.V.I.S. and F.R.I.D.A.Y wasn’t going to be taken away anytime soon.

“Do you know how to ride?” Steve questioned.

“Not legally.” Angelina blushed a bright pink. “Not well. I fix. I like fixing things. Don’t like destroying them unless it’s to fix them. I made a thing that breaks radio frequencies once."

Sam's eyes flickered back to the man in black who had his head in his hand, flipping through his phone, face obscured by the hand and his hat, "Do you build your own computers, too, to sell and stuff?" he inquired next, "Fixing things is a good thing. A radio that breaks frequencies though?" he didn't quite know what to think about that one.

"Luxury." Angelina shrugged a little. "You make do with what you can. Junk yard hopping. I could if you wanted me to. Build you one." She shifted. "It was for something. It's okay. It's no longer around."

Luxury. Junkyard hopping. Sam couldn't hold his tongue, "You've been through a lot of constant stress, haven't you? How long has your hair been white? Were you homeless?"

Steve looked at his friend in horror. He couldn't /believe/ that his friend would just jump out and say it. Though, Steve also couldn't help but to think that's why Zan brought her over to them. Steve knew what that was like. The constant struggle to make sure you had everything you could need. He paused, drinking this in while Angelina looked like a deer in headlights.

"I don't know. Yes." Angelina nodded after a moment, nodding her head. "I have an apartment now. Not much. But it's nice." She smiled a little shyly.

"Apartments in good ol' New York aren't cheap. The one you live with must be pretty well off. I'm glad you're not dealing with that anymore. It's a hard life," Sam soothed, "How are you doing making friends with Zan? Have you met her brother?"

"He showed me how to bake!" Angelina clapped her hands excitedly and Steve saw a spark in her eyes. She wasn't afraid now. "He was surprised I didn't use sugar. It's expensive! But he bought me sugar and showed me how to make cookies, fudge, and brownies. I have some left over."

"Dylan's a good kid," Sam nodded, but he arched a brow at her, "I didn't know he knew how to bake. Those sound really good. Steve, you've been kinda quiet. What do you think of her fixer-upper skills and newly acquired baking skill?"

Steve really, honestly couldn’t believe what he was hearing. Sugar wasn’t rationed anymore, so the point system wasn’t needed. He had a strong, strong feeling that Angelina said that sugar line because it was the one thing Bucky knew she could drop into a conversation without causing much fuss. Steve would understand the sugar rationing.

“I think she’d make a better husband then you would Sam.” Was the only thing he could come back with. “Did a man tell you that sugar was expensive? Long hair?”

Angelina blinked slowly and nodded up and down. She didn’t see the harm in allowing this. “Yeah.”

“Sugar was rationed back in the 1940s when WW2 was hitting America hard.” Steve explained. “We were trying to give back to the soldiers who were fighting and laying down their lives.” He bowed his head. “I thought Bucky might’ve picked you as contact because of..well…your situation is kinda like mine back in the days. Poor, nearly homeless, and trying to make things last.”

"Sugar really isn't all that expensive. Five dollars for a five pound bag, maybe? I dunno, I'd have to go look, but it's about as much as you'd pay for a cup of coffee here," Sam tapped his chin. Of course Steve would be the only person to read that file on the Soldier and totally ignore most of it, like the part of him assassinating a bunch of people. Nope, still wanted to get his Bucky back.

"Luxury." Angelina shrugged and Steve understood that logic very well. Shelter, food, and clothes were probably the only necessaries Angelina worried about. Her apartment wasn't cheap, but that meant that she had to be careful with her money if she was buying food or clothes.

"I'm sure Dylan's got you covered. Honestly, the best people to start out as your neighbors would be those twins," Sam grinned at Angelina, "You should ask them about Netflix."

"Netflix." Angelina nodded her head after a moment. "I could ask. Dylan has it probably. He likes weird shows. Japanese things." She shrugged. She didn't really get a chance to badger him about it since it was "BAKING" time.

"I heard netflix and considered it to be my name." Zan said as she came back. She placed the bill in the middle of the table and she gave Angelina her drink. It was a hot mug with a healthy topping of whipped cream and cinnamon sprinkled on top. "We'll get you hooked in no time."

"Well, Zan, it was nice talking to you today and meeting you, Angelina, but I gotta get home and ready to go to the VA," Sam stood up and stretched, "I'm sure you wanna chat to her by yourself anyway, Steve, so have fun with that. You /stay safe/, you hear me? No gallivanting after your missing knight in shining armor." He heard someone choke and looked over at the man in black who was thumping his chest then used a napkin.

"I won't go on any missions without you Sam." Steve promised. "I know you want to use those wings more since Stark did magic on them."

"Which I /was not/ expecting, by the way and I will thank him up and down just to watch him squirm," Sam smirked and waved, "I'll see ya. Take care, Zannie." With that he walked out.

Steve watched his friend leave and he turned to look back at Angelina. Constant stress, the marks on her arms, the way she fidgeted but didn’t seem to want to leave. The homelessness and the way Bucky decided that she, of all the people he could’ve chosen, allowed her to make contact with him.

“You remind me of Allison.” Steve said after a moment, making Angelina look at him curiously. “She was Bucky’s little sister, the baby of the three. She looks so much like you. She was the only one that had freckles. Rebecca would tease her endlessly.”

“Was d-Bucky an elder?” Angelina questioned, and Steve smiled a little.

“Yep. I was around when Allison was born and Rebe was little.” Steve agreed. “Mom was his mom’s midwife.”

“Oh.” Angelina swallowed.

“How often do you keep in contact with Bucky?” Steve asked, looking up at Angelina.

“Randomly.” Angelina shook her head. “He told me to meet you. He knew you liked it here.”

“I guess he heard about Zan’s way with the tray.” Steve looked over. Zan had silently walked away from the conversation and was over by the man with the hat’s table. She was grinning at him and they were chatting too low for him to catch. He looked back at Angelina, “Whose the man you’re with?”

“Roommate.” Angelina nodded.

“He’s not hurting you?” Angelina shook her head from side to side and Steve breathed a sigh of relief. “Good. Real good. How old are you anyway?”

“Eighteen.” Angelina beamed proudly. “I can almost drink alcohol.”

“Don’t let Zan hear you. She’ll take you out to one of her parties and you’ll never see the light of day again.” Steve teased and Angelina grinned like it was the greatest joke in the world. “Can you give a message to Bucky?”

“I can try.” Angelina nodded.

“Let him know that I miss him.” Steve stirred the last bit of his drink with the straw. “Let him know that I did my waiting. I know he’s in New York now. I can search without getting myself into danger. Also…tell him that you’re safe. You’re the only one that probably won’t get interrogated by any of the Avengers and be used to find him.”

“Okay…” Angelina nodded.

“And let him know…let him know that he can relax a little. Tell him about this cafe and Zan. Tell him that I won’t bring him in. I just want a glimpse to know he’s alive and well and eating right.”

“You’re mother hen. I should be writing this down. This is a list. This is a letter.” Angelina huffed.

“Do you think you could pass letters?” Steve asked curiously.

Angelina wanted to bang her head on the table. “I won’t have to memorize things.”

“I’ll write one next time. Come by here next week.” Steve assured. “I doubt you can afford the expensive coffee all the time. It’ll be my treat. I’ll let Sam know so he doesn’t get all huffy again. I’m sorry if he said something that made you uncomfortable.”

“Blunt and observant.” Angelina stood up, taking the mug with her. “I’m gonna go with my friend now.”

“Okay.” Steve said softly.

“You should stop the worry thing.” Angelina flicked his forehead. “You’ll get wrinkles. Then you’ll be unattractive. Bucky wouldn’t like that.”

Steve barked out a laugh and Angelina left to go back to her table.

He never saw the face of the stranger who sat across from her.
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sun Sep 25, 2016 9:27 pm

~*~

Angelina was on the couch lounging while James was cooking lunch. That was when they heard the knock on the door. Frowning, pushing the chicken around on the pan, he looked over the cut-out of the kitchen wall, "Angel will you watch this while it sears so it doesn't burn?"

"Okay." Angelina said as she got up from reading a book Zan lent her and walked over to the kitchen to keep the meat from burning while her dad went to the door. She was a little on edge though. It could be Zan or Dylan for all she knew, but...there were always worse possibilities.

He didn't just walk right up to the door. He never did. He edged up to it and slowly looked through the peephole only to jerk back when brown eyes that reminded him of maple syrup, which were covered by hipster glasses, looked back at him. Who? He unlocked the door and inched it open, "Do you need something?"

"Hey!" The man grinned, an unfamiliar voice. "I'm Vince." He held his hand out like it wasn't odd at all that Bucky was looking at him between the crack of the door. "Dylan told me that he made a friend in this building and I wanted to meet her. Or him. Or whatever they prefer. Anyway. Besides that, I also wanted to let you know that I'm the guy that sometimes has to be on call to drag Zan away from the rave or something so if you see me coming up with her practically falling off my shoulder to not call the cops on me. That happens /way/ to much and I'm getting tired of Calla cracking up that my record for helping people is on a police document while hers is breaking and entering."

James blinked slowly at him but he nodded, assessing that he was not a threat and opened the door a bit wider, "Would you like to come inside? I found a recipe I wanted to try and was in the middle of making it. I think Angelina was watching Netflix before I called her to help me."

"Sure." Vince grinned as he walked into the apartment. He reached down and took off his shoes, placing them by the door but not in the way. He stuffed his hands into his pockets as he surveyed the room. "Have you thought of getting an indoor plant?" He asked as the man led him towards the kitchen.

"No. Why? Should we? There's plants outside..." James motioned to the sliding doors to the balcony.

"You should." Vince said solemnly. "Indoor plants have this natural ability of making the rooms feel more homey. Also, maybe if you had indoor plants you could yell at Dylan for me for not keeping up with his."

James took the pan over from Angelina after she flipped the chicken over and patted her head before turning his attention to the food. It was almost done, "Angelina was in their apartment last, so I didn't know they had plants. Angel, this is Vince."
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Sun Sep 25, 2016 10:07 pm

Angelina blinked as she looked at the guy. Skinny jeans and a shirt with rolled up sleeves. All he was missing was a beanie and he'd definitely be a hipster on the streets. "Hi." She said, doing a wave. "That's my dad James."

Vince watched her with a tilt of his head. "So you're Dylan's new obsession."

"You make it sound like a bad thing." Angelina folded her arms.

"Nah. Not bad." Vince waved it off. "I was telling James that he should get an indoor plant."

Angelina blinked, blinked again and thought about it. She tapped her fingers on the crook of her elbow as she thought about it. "Flower or plant?"

"Whichever." Vince shrugged. "Personally since you have all of the greens outside, I'd get at least a flower one for the living room. It's nice stress relief. Of course everyone has their own way of reliving stress."

Angelina hummed. "I didn't know Dylan had plants."

"Yep." Vince grinned. "Fanart's more distracting. I think Dylan keeps thinking that if he keeps it in the living room I'll stop noticing that he's killing his plants."

"You water them?" Angelina tilted her head.

"Only when I think they're sad." Vince sighed. "Or when they need company."

"They need....company?"

"Well...yeah. They're living things. Talk to them once in a while." Vince shrugged. "They get lonely and sad. Especially when some idiot doesn't water them properly."

Angelina glanced outside at the balcony. Had she been neglecting the plants the entire time? She grabbed Vince's wrist and dragged him out to the balcony, flinging the sliding door open and pointing at them. They were different kinds, a lot of them in Latin that her father could pronounce without much effort and Angelina tripping over the lot. "Are they sad?"

Vince walked over to the plants and felt around the soil, touching the leaves and looking out at how the sun would angle into the balcony. "Nah. They're healthy." He said as he came back to her. "It looks like someone gives them a lot of care."

Angelina's shoulders slumped. "Thought I was being mean. I don't talk to the plants."

"Doesn't hurt to start, but indoor plants are easier to talk to." Vince acknowledged. "You can hide in your bedroom and people don't think you're fucking nuts."

"Happened to you?" She asked as they walked back into the living room, Angelina closing the sliding door. "Our plants aren't dead!" She called into the kitchen.

Vince laughed. "Only when I was doing the science experiment. You know. Talking helps plants grow, and so does music."

"I wonder why?" Angelina blinked.

"I'm not certain. Well, about the music anyway. Talking? All about carbon and oxygen." He shrugged. "Though they're outside in New York City. Can't get much more carbon than that."

"Pollution." Angelina's eyebrows furrowed.

"Just bring them inside before a hurricane. River's really good at figuring out if we're gonna get hit by a storm before the weatherman so I can always warn you a week ahead that something's gonna happen. Or text you." Vince shrugged. "So anyway. I think I took a lot of your time up."

"Please stay." Angelina grabbed Vince's wrist and they both looked down. "Um..."

"Only if James is cool with me staying." Vince offered gently. "Then I'll stay until you guys kick me out. Or when Dylan feels up to calling a search and rescue."


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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Mon Sep 26, 2016 7:40 pm

James chuckled deeply and went back to the fridge, "It is good our plants aren't dead. He can stay if he eats lunch with us. I won't have him just sitting there watching us eat when he can eat, too."
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Mon Sep 26, 2016 8:58 pm

Vince watched James for a moment and smiled as he looked back at Angelina, who seemed to be pleased as peaches. "It smells good." He said, straightening up and placing his hand on his cheek, leaning against the counter. "Where are you from? You have an accent, but I can't place it."
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Mon Sep 26, 2016 11:23 pm

James faltered. Any answer he gave could be used against him. Brooklyn equaled the Bucky-Person. Romania was what he spoke as Soldat. Deny. Confirm deny. "I do not feel comfortable answering that." A pause as he started mixing ingredients together and piling the food on the plates while Vince's chicken was in the pan, "Do not be upset if I do not answer questions. I am very private."

"It's cool." Vince shrugged. "I get uncomfortable when people ask me about my family." He smiled gently. "I'm just glad you're comfortable enough to tell me when I'm crossing a line. So many people bullshit about things, it's hard to get a straight answer anymore. Do you like pie? And all of the sudden it's a trick question that needs serious FBI investigating. It's really stupid."

"Well...River bakes bread in August and she juggles pies and bread in September. October is a bit different considering that's Halloween and we don't fuck with Halloween. Or Yule. Christmas." He explained with a shrug. "River and Calla go /all/ out trying to make both the store and their own apartments look as creepy as fuck. I think River won last year by /one/ child. Apparently that's how you lure kids. The scarier the better. Calla's determined to get that back this year though."

"Who...are River and Calla?" James furrowed his brows, flipping the chicken and he brought out two plates. He would be last, deciding to use that chicken for himself, but his daughter and guest would get first dibs. That was how this works, right? Setting the plates down on the coffee table, he also placed down the salt and pepper, "Taste before you season," he said firmly.

"River would love you." Vince grinned as he walked over to the coffee table and sat down and Angelina took her place close beside him. "We won't eat till you come join." He replied. "Calla and River are my roommates. If had to use two words to describe River I'd say Dolphin and Bubbly. For Call those words are: Fierce and Rebel."

"Why do you say she would love me? What have I done to deserve instant like?" James asked, genuinely confused as he went back to cooking and finishing up his own meal, "You mentioned they have a shop? Do they live above it or near it at all? What do they sell?"

"River loves everyone instantly. She's just that type of person." Vince laughed. 'But the whole season after you try things is how she does her tea and coffee. She always takes one drink of it before she doctors it up the way she likes."

"There are some teas that don't need a lot of sugar if any...which is why I like tea. It's not as harsh as coffee, either, but...I have been able to drink coffee more because Dylan came by the other day and allowed me to try some of his creamer. Now we have a jug of french vanilla for ourselves," James nodded as he finally was able to turn off the stove and he threw his plate together, not wanting theirs to get too cold, and came out to sit on the end of the sofa, taking his hair tie from off his neck.

"Thank you for the meal." Vince said happily as he took a bite of food, Angelina following suit. "Dylan's always searching for more followers when it comes to coffee worship." He smiled brightly. "We all have our own pick of poison, so it's not bad. By the way I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to answer last question. Calla's a painter, River stitches. So they sell things that they make as well as supplies."

Supplies. Art supplies. "Not some ordinary craft store, then? They focus their shop on their own creations?" Perhaps. He didn't get Steve anything for his birthday on the 4th of July. Did they have quality supplies instead of a variety of 'level 1 2 3'? If he asked he would be given away, he felt, so he pinged his daughter for support via a glance under his lashes while Vince was stuffing his face. "Food good?" he asked instead.

"I like it." Angelina piped up and she looked over at Vince. "I don't know much about drawing. I would like to see the store though. It might be fun."

Good idea. Going to the shop. James groaned mentally. They both had to expand their perimeters instead of just being stuck between the apartment and the cafe, and for himself Prospect Park for running in the morning. "The shop must not be far away unless you didn't walk here?"

"I ride my bike. But that's because I like to ride. It's not that far of a walk really." Vince shrugged. "If you want, I can give you the address so you guys can check it out. Calla does classes for paintings and drawings."

Address. That would be very good for future reference. "Let me go get my notebook," he said and set the plate down, disappearing down the small hall and into the main room. He reemerged a few seconds later with the blue book in his hand and a pen, sitting back down on the corner of the couch. He also needed to finish the response letter from the last time Angelina was at the cafe when Steve gave it to her.

Vince rattled the address off and smiled when he watched James write it down. He turned to Angelina and gently poked her shoulder. "I'll take you down there when you want to learn how to draw." He promised. "Of course I think Zan's gonna want to take you to a party first. She'd kill me if she found out I took you out of the apartment first."

"She wouldn't would she?" Angelina stared at Vince in horror.

"Well not /literally/." Vince shrugged. "But you don't go up against Zan and a tray."

James smiled just a bit at that. On a morning he'd been in there before Steve and Sam, and /managed/ to sneak to a different section and stay hidden, he watched Zan threaten Steve with that tray. The superhero three times her size flinched from her arm up, and then the three of them laughed. It had been a good morning. "I wonder why," he said, as if he didn't know. If Vince noticed he didn't say anything about it. "I have been thinking of getting a motorcycle. Or is that not the type of bike you meant?"

"Bicycle." Vince laughed. "Motorbikes aren't my thing. I'm quite awful at keeping my balance. I have a hard time staying on my bike as is. Though if you're looking for a motorcycle, there's a lot of places that you could look into."

"We can find one in junkyards?" Angelina questioned.

"I would think so." Vince hummed. "Depending on the bike and how much it's worth, collectors probably grab them before it can really be there for too long. Though there are lost causes."

"There's no such thing." James says so defensively it startles the three of them. He cleared his throat, "Even a car can be rebuilt from the frame alone. It just takes more work and not a lot of people want to do that. Unfortunately, my only dilemma is nowhere to put the pieces."

"Fair enough." Vince nodded. "You apartment wouldn't do any good. Let me see what I can do, I might be able to find a place or something. Though I wouldn't hold my breath any."

"Alright. I was not expecting that, but thank you, Vince." An unexpected kindness from someone just met. Like Zan and Dylan. They were in good company.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 12:36 am

~*~

James kept his head down with his hand on his hat while he brought Angelina to the door of the coffee shop at nine, just after Steve and Sam's run, but it was just Steve there today, laptop in front of him, leaning back in his chair, coffee held close and he looked...so very tired. Did he not sleep well? Frowning, he patted Angelina's head with his gloved metal hand, "Remind him about frown-lines, hmm?" he smiled, "I'll be back at the end of Zan's shift."

Steve looked up from his laptop when Angelina walked over to the table. Her hair was in two low pigtails and she was wearing jeans a shirt with a cartoonish cat and a pink ribbon on the bow. “Hey Angel.” He greeted, closing is laptop and pushing it aside.

“Hello.” Angelina said as she took her spot across from him. She smiled timidly. “Should I leave?”

“What? No.” Steve shook his head and gestured to the laptop. “I was doing some research. Catching up with the new century and all that. Did you want to get a drink? It’s my treat.”

Angelina felt strange. She wasn’t usually given free things like that. She worried about his money, but knew that Steve would just tell her not to worry about it. She nodded, knowing damn well her father would have her hide if she turned down goodwill.

“No point in being stubborn Angel,” he’d say in his gruff manner. “When someone’s kind, we must repay back with kindness.”

Zan came by, as if summoned and smiled a little. “Hey. Where’s your d-roommate?”

“Junkyard hopping and parts.” Angelina replied. “Can you surprise me with a tea?”

“Sure.” Zan grinned brightly. “Man you and your roommate are practically the only ones I can surprise anymore.”

“You have me,” Steve pouted at Zan.

“You’re not new.” Zan sniffed. “You know my menu and the secret menu by now.”

“Oh do I?”

“Fine, next time you come in you’ll get a surprise waiting for you. You don’t even get a say.” Zan flipped her hair back over her shoulder and walked away.

Angelina decided now would be the perfect time to present the letter to him. She slid it across the table and Steve grabbed it excitedly. No words were exchanged as Steve tore open the envelope to read what was inside.

Steve

I remembered you.

Only in pieces. Don't expect the stars to align completely, pal. The progression went from Captain to Rogers to Steve.

I...know you are proud of me. I am proud of me. My contact is proud of me. There is quite a lot of pride going on, isn't there?

I vaguely remember having a family, but it was really how you reacted to Nurse Sarah, so polite and almost in tears. Yes, I was watching you from a sniper position across the street. Don't be mad. Had to know how you were doing.

I did. No it wasn't. But it happened. Bad things happen to good people. Natalia gave you a file. Didn't see it, but I know she did because that's what she does. You don't know the half of it.

Angelina...she is related to my sisters. One reason why I chose her. Won't let you know which, since she's a little like both isn't she? Didn't know I had a smile like that. Haven't...smiled that way in a long time. Nice to know. Glad she makes you happy. She makes me happy.

I did. Isn't this contact enough for now, punk? Greedy, greedy. Give an inch, want a mile. Tsk.

Ugh. Now you make me go into the deep stuff. Can't either of us catch a break and be /happy/ for a little fucking while?

I know you want to see me. You might be. I kind of am. That's the flip side of the pride, isn't it? No, I know you're not scared of me. I kind of am.

Third question. Took longer to respond to. When you were choking me out, I had the strong thought that you would never kill me. You would hurt me to save others, and by reflex to protect yourself. I do not know if I am safe yet to prevent that should I branch too far from my safe spots.

You want to be around me. This leads to the next part. I do not want to be around you.

Not yet.

I am not ready for your questions of which they will be endless. They already have required a lot of time and going back and forth to this letter. What I want to share, what I won't. As you noticed, I will answer you, just...you don't know just how long it's taken me to get this on paper. Broke three pens.

You may not be after me, but even if I am in New York I am staying low-key because others are. I do not have a /sanctuary/, Steve. I have safe places, but because no one recognizes me and no one gives me trouble where I am. Should my safe places be compromised? The allies I made may not be allies anymore.

God so many words. You're lucky 'end of the line' was code for mission reset.

There are things I want to ask, but the particular question I have is best left for our first face to face contact.

Your Jerk


Steve set the letter down on the table and stared at it. Angelina recognized that expression as someone who was trying to just take it all in. He took a drink of his coffee and she watched as he took out a sheet of paper from his pocket, clearly prepared and started writing.

Zan came back and quietly placed a tall glass filled with bright orange liquid down. The ice clinked against the glass happily. Angelina gave Zan a smile and Zan knocked on the table gently twice as she walked away. Steve still writing furiously.

The orange drink was gone half-way before Steve finally shoved the paper at Angelina. She took it without reading it and placed it on her lap.

“Do you know that Bucky’s related to you?” Was his only question he drank the last of his coffee drink. Whatever it was.

Angelina nodded. “I can’t tell you how. It breaks the rules.”

“No I understand.” Steve said hastily. “I was just wondering if…well…” He shrugged sadly. “He said in his letter you make him happy.” He watched as Angelina beamed happily, like it was the best thing she ever heard. “I told him that you’re happy.”

Angelina’s smile wavered a little. “You’re not.”

“I’m trying.”

She bowed her head a little. “Can I call you Uncle Steve?”

Steve blinked a few times and looked up at her. She was related to one of the sisters, but Bucky wouldn’t say who. He couldn’t blame him. He probably didn’t have a clue, and Angelina probably wasn’t able to trace her family lineage for whatever reason. A runaway. Someone who lived on the streets. Family was the last thing on her mind, besides shelter food and whatever else she needed.

“You can call me that if you want.” Steve said hoarsely.

“You’re not happy.” Angelina affirmed again, making Steve look up at her. “And that’s okay. Do you draw?”

“Not as often as I’d like to.” Steve’s lips quirked up. “Missions and recons, I barely get time to be really.”

“Come with me to a drawing lesson.” Angelina said firmly.

“A drawing lesson.”

“I don’t want to go by myself. My roommate won’t come with me.”

Steve thought about it for a moment and nodded. “Give me a time and a date and we’ll figure something out, okay Angelina?”

Angel beamed. “Okay.”

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 1:10 am

James wrapped his arm around Angelina's shoulders when he came to pick her up and deftly avoided Steve as he tried to intercept them and introduce himself, disappearing into the crowd. They were quiet as they traveled, but James saw his daughter looked perky and yet a little sad at the same time. He couldn't fathom how that was possible. How did one do it? Shrugging, putting it off as an emotional mystery yet to experience, he got them to the junkyard where they were completely alone and safe. "How did your talk with Uncle Steve go?"

"He said that you wrote about me." Angelina said, leaning against his hold. Her facial expression didn't change from the happy/sad mix that she was managing to pull off. "Said you were happy that I'm around. But...Uncle Steve isn't happy. He's sad."

"His letter proved as much. Guilty. Bleeding heart. Wants to set things right but doesn't know how. I don't know how, either, so I'm no help. All I can do is make him happy for two seconds when he sees my letter envelope. Maybe I'll write the next on in a 'get well' card to be a jackass. He likes snark," James rolled his eyes. He sat them down on a pile of parts that weren't going to stab them and rubbed her back, "I need to get him a birthday gift. That might make him happy, too, for a full minute."

Angelina watched her dad for a long time and she looked down at the ground. "Why /don't/ you want to see Uncle Steve?"

"We've gone over this?" James frowned, "What sort of different answer do you want? You can read my mind, fetiță. Unless you can see an answer much deeper that I haven't?"

"I think it's fear." Angelina kicked the ground a little. "I think you think that if you talk to Uncle Steve, he's gonna see you. You don't want him to see you." She pursed her lips together tightly. "You love me. A killer. A monster. A freak. An animal. You love me. I love you. The machine, the assassin, the nightmare, the ghost. But you won't let Steve love you cuz you think his love belongs to a man who isn't a machine. Did you know Uncle Steve is a weapon, too?"

There was a very long pause for that. James thought about it. The way Steve fought. There were snippets of memory from before he Fell. Steve's sharp mind being put to use by the army. A dancing monkey and then a pawn. After ice he was thrown back into a fight and since took down /aliens/. Met a God, Thor. Fought a God, Loki. He had just as many nightmares, just not of the same thing as himself. A weapon by the government and yet he threw down his shield for /him/.

"He may be a weapon..." James said slowly, "But he's not a machine. I don't want to hurt him. I don't want to have a nightmare and he doesn't know how to handle it like you do and I /hurt/ him. He'd forgive me. I know that. I'd be so upset with /myself/ and I'd hate myself for it until I calmed down. I am afraid, yes. Afraid of so many things, fetiță. I'm just starting to live outside of the immediate mission. Be a normal human being. Yet I'm not normal. This is semi-perminant but it won't last. Something will happen, but all I can do is go day by day and try to /live/ until it does. I want you to live, too. You were with those snakes for so long. I am very proud you were able to be at the cafe by yourself today."
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:49 am

Angelina nodded with a sad smile on her lips. He continued to rub her back as they sat there. He was right. They were just growing out of being weapons and experiments. She had forgotten where Steve's loyalty was. S.H.I.E.L.D. The US Government. Just because one branch fell didn't mean the other one did. Steve wouldn't know what to do with them. He would try out of the goodness of his heart and kindness to understand, but...

James and Angelina were just barely learning what that looked like with their neighbors. With Zan showing Angelina music. Dylan showing anime and cooking and sharing recipes. Vince who came by with the knowledge of plants and a drawing lesson.

Her heart hammered in her chest. In the spur of the moment she had told Steve that they should go drawing together. Steve wouldn't hurt her, she knew that, but...she just realized that she told Steve she'd go out of the apartment for him. She supposed that the reason why Steve felt safe to her, was from what little James could remember of him. A scrappy fighter with a big heart. A bleeding heart. "Choices." Angelina bowed her head as she looked at the ground again.

"I..." She looked back up at her father. "I'm scared too." She admitted. "I forget you can't read minds. It feels like you can. Sometimes. We...aren't normal." She pursed her lips together. "But I don't know what normal is. I don't know the normal we're looking for. Life without violence is okay. No more killing feels good. A little scary, a little uncertain, but good. No more shots and doctors and a cages is bonuses. Same time it's all I know. Knew. Small world contained in missions. We're in a junkyard by choice. We have kind neighbors. Uncle Steve. The world gets bigger. More people. Crowds hurt and are scary. I called Uncle Steve Uncle Steve. I told him he was sad and should draw more. I told him about Calla's shop. I told him wanted lessons so he didn't think he's being pressured. I don't know if that's normal. Did I lie to him? I don't like...lying. I don't like surprises either. Bad things happen."
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 2:22 pm

"Oh, fetiță..." James pulled her from sitting next to him into his lap and he wrapped her up in his arms, kissing her cheek. He switched to Romanian, letting his rumbled words flow over her ears, "<You didn't lie. That was normal. We are never going to /be/ normal, but we can /do/ normal things. It's okay you don't know what that means. That is why you have me, to teach and guide you. That's what a tată is supposed to do, right? Teaching you how to fight isn't all I'm good for. You can call Uncle Steve that, it's alright. I told him you were related to one of the sisters he mentioned. That's not /lying/, they would've been your aunts, but he doesn't have to know that. I don't like lying, either, and I'm trying not to, but I can also avoid the truth if I have to.>"

Angelina leaned against him and hugged him close and tight as she let his words wash over her, feeling the vibrations against his chest as he spoke, his heart beat steadily. Tears were glistening at the corners of her eyes as she thought about what he was saying. That it was alright that she didn't know. That she wasn't lying and she was still doing her best. That Steve would've been her Uncle no matter who on the Barnes side of the family she was apart of. Her father was trying to tell the truth where he could, and try to hide the best he could too. Normal people wouldn't understand them, but doing normal things? Grocery shopping, junkyard hopping, raving, drawing classes, they could /do/ those normal things. It was okay. It was okay that she didn't know what normal was. "<Do you ever wonder what life would be like if Hydra didn't get us?>" She asked softly, almost fearfully.

"<Lonely...>" James murmured, "<If they didn't get me, then you would've been born in a different time. Not so sure if you would've liked that. This day and age...so many things are different, and some things even a little difficult like more security cameras, but...overall, I like it. I like this time. A lot more lax. You don't have to go to church to be a good person, you can be a hermit and no one will judge you. No one's going to force you to socialize because that's your life. You building computers? My mechanic skills? Good things. Not looked on a strange.>"

She saw the good things first. Where people talked and socialized. Families gathered together on Sundays for meals and for laughter. She saw a gathering at a radio, listening into a baseball game. She could see that Chirstmas was poor, but filled with warmth and home and oranges and peppermint sticks. But the technology was sadder. Cars were given to the rich, it was harder to maintain. Motorcycles were wobbly at best. Radios weren't portable, and were pricey too. Iceboxes weren't really fridges and food spoiled just as fast as fresh fruit nowadays.

She saw police beating two guys for kissing. How bars would have a siren in order to make same couple partners switch to pretend it was heterosexual. She saw how people married quick, had children quick, and then regretted it when they had nothing on the tables to feed. Expectations were still the same in some cases, but..her tată wasn't pushing her off to marry some one.

She sighed softly. Lonely. Lonely would be a good word. Uncle Steve wouldn't have gotten frozen, but he wouldn't be here either. She would've loved to know who her aunts were. What they were like. Memories that he had lost, she wished she could find for him. She was greedy, but she also knew that so was he. He wanted his memories, but he also knew that they might come back. Probably another reason why he was scared to let Uncle Steve see him. It was disappointing enough. "<So we're okay?>" She pulled her head away and looked at her tată's eyes. He was looking back at her somberly. "<Can't be normal, but...we can be okay?>"

"<We can be okay,>" James kissed her forehead, "I'll contact Uncle Steve eventually, but I can't be pushed to do that. It might take a long time still. I'll promise you, though, for you, I'll make sure it is before the end of the year." Maybe Thanksgiving, or Christmas. Wouldn't that make Steve happy?

"As long as we're okay." Angelina hummed softly. "It's all I care about. Contact doesn't have to happen. I just didn't know what to do. Overwhelmed. New situations. New solutions. But we're okay."

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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:58 pm

Zan did her rounds again through her section since she knew that she had been seated. She made sure her guests were happy as they could be with their drinks, sandwiches, as well as pastries. As she got to the last bit of her section, she was a little concerned with the man in the hoodie. She knew who it was, but...he didn't wear that unless Steve was around and he wasn't today. Probably because Angelina told him to write every once in a while so that everyday wasn't a common occurrence. She walked over to him, careful to make sure that she was in his line of sight. She didn't want to come across as aggressive if he had a panic attack or something. She had yet to figure out all of his habits. "Hey there." She said gently, placing a hand on the table, but not knocking on it.

"I identified what I wanted..." James murmured softly to her, hands buried deep in the stomach pocket, fingers twisting unseen under the table. She had asked him what he wanted when he first got there but he had declined even her surprising him so she left him be to make up his mind. "Hot chocolate. Something sweet. A surprise but not a surprise?" He wasn't sure if he was making any sense, pale blue eyes down-turned, slightly hidden by the lip in his hood. He was caught between his machine state and his usual self. It had been several days since Angelina had interacted with Steve and they had their little chat. His dreams had not been...bad...but not good, either. Everything just felt...weird today.

"Hot chocolate with something to make it a bit sweeter on the flavor?" Zan questioned gently. She didn't want to fuck up the order.

"Con...yes," James rubbed his forehead. He didn't want to scare her off. Didn't want to give himself away. This was a safe place. "Thank you, Zanna."

"Nice job." Zan smiled gently as she let go of the table and walked away. She was a little worried about him, but she knew that soldiers of all sorts had problems. Sam told her a little about PSTD after Steve's accidental outburst on her when she got too close and moved too fast. She made sure to train herself afterwards to make sure that she appeared less threatening and more welcoming to them. She hoped that Bucky would feel that way too. She made him the hot chocolate and decided that french vanilla would be a safe bet for today. She piled on whipped cream and put a smiley face on the cream using tiny chocolate chips. She came back and just as carefully set the cup down. "Do you need me to stay or do you need me to go?" Simple directions, she remembered. Yes or no is easier.

He remembered a store playing a song with similar lines and the tiniest smile quirked his lips up, "You don't need to sing me a song." The joke was weak, but it was there. He pried his hands apart from his hoodie pocket and brought the cup close, eyes softening at the smiley-face. He took a finger and scooped some of the cream, smiling at her a bit more around his finger once it was in his mouth.

Zan smiled a little. "So it was a minor attack?" She asked. "You got out of it pretty decently. I seen soldiers who come out of their moments less than fine."

"Yes...Minor. You could say that," James nodded slowly, and then tilted his head at her, "You've experienced this before?"

"Steve sometimes gets like that. Lost in his head." She tapped her own head for good gesture. "Sometimes it's just other patrons." She hoped she wasn't talking too much. "Let me know if you need me to shut up."

"No...it is good to know that you are not...put off by my acting strange," James shook his head. He took a sip of his drink and hummed softly, "On...your break...will you come sit with me? I have some...questions."

"Let me put up my tray and we can talk." Zan touched the table as she walked off so that she could put her tray down. Once she came back, she slid into the seat across from her and kept her hands in front so that he saw them. She didn't want him to think that she'd attack or anything of the sort. "Ready when you are."

James was concerned since her job should come first, but knew if he argued then she'd just brush it off. He tackled enough of the whipped cream so he could stir it into the hot chocolate without making a mess and then took another sip, trying to figure out what question to ask first. "The fight a few months ago...when Steve got hurt really bad..." he started, "It was on the news, right? Did you watch it?"

"I saw it." Zan nodded after a moment. "It was trending all over Twitter. The information flood about the Avengers, Steve's file, Natasha's...it was all over the place. Secrets that could've really hurt S.H.I.E.L.D. suddenly became public knowledge..." She shook her head.

James furrowed his brows and took another sip, just...thinking. So many secrets were revealed... "Did you read any of it?" He felt awful about killing several of Steve's allies, like the pilots that had tried to be Steve's support. Several had survived, but not many.

"Enough." Zan said after a moment. "I read about the Avenger's initiative. I read about Natasha's KBG past. I read about Steve. Steve's file was basically everything you read in the history book, only with more obvious illegal activities than legal. I think people just...washed their hands of it though and aren't really going to bring it up again."

"Don't want to acknowledge it happened," James nodded. He shifted in his seat, "What about...the one who caused all of it?" He didn't want to say it out loud. "The man with the metal arm?" That sounded better. Easier to say, less attention than a code name, "What do you think about him? Unless it's something you can't say here, you don't have to hold back, Zanna."

"I think that...Hydra is full of dumb, stupid, smart people who did a very awful inhumane thing." Zan said slowly. “It’s in the documents that it was suspected that he was brainwashed to believe some really terrible things.” She gripped her wrists, like she was trying to stop herself from throwing a tray or something. “Yes he killed people. Yes. He might’ve killed presidents and leaders and so many other important influential politicians. But at the same time if he didn’t do it, there would’ve been someone else who would.” She paused. “But does that mean that he’s a bad person? No. Does that make it his fault? Brainwashing is…the wrong term to use in this case. It was a severe case of conditioning, brainwashing, and some other psychological bullshit that Sam’s better qualified for to name than I am. He was dehumanized. I think if you ask my opinion…that makes him a very sad man. A very confused and horrified man.”

He just...stared at her. He didn't even drink from his cup, just held it close and let the liquid warm his flesh hand and heat the plates of his metal one through the glove he wore. Tongue stuck in his throat, he didn't quite know what to say. What /did/ somebody say to that? "Why...do you feel so strongly about it?" he murmured, voice hoarse and he forced himself to take another drink so he wouldn't seem so awkward.

"Because that man's is ruined." Zan said looking up at Bucky. "He's always going to be carrying the blame and weight of those kills not ever for certain on whose friend and whose enemy. He's going to have guns pointed at his back and heaven forbid he has a wife or a child or anyone because they'd be "Nazi Sympathizers" and be shot dead in the street." She took a deep breath. "He's an American POW. Not Russia. Not Romanian. American. And we abandon our soldiers like that?" She shook her head. "I don't care if they didn't know. I don't care if they know now. If they did, we wouldn't be talking about this. He would've been pardoned." She took a harsh breath in and bowed her head. "But that's only in an ideal world isn't it? We don't care about our soldiers then so why care now?"

"It's a sad truth," James' throat felt more raw with each passing minute, "Suzanna..." he watched her straighten her back and her face did an interesting thing. He leaned forward and an idea suddenly popped in his head. He didn't have to /say/ anything. Placing both arms on the table, cup in the center of the table, he looked her dead in the eye, "I want you to squeeze my arms."

Zan was a bit confused, but she placed her hands on his arms and squeezed. She couldn't go far with the left, but the right she could feel muscle and bone. She pulled away, understanding crossing her eyes. "Does Angelina know?" She asked softly. "That you're....him?"

"She's my own." James told her, the words coming easily, "My pride and joy. Uncle Steve isn't just her Uncle from my sisters."

"Oh my god and I just told you that your kid was going to get shot in the street." Zan groaned into her hands. "I can't believe I said that."

James shrugged, "Not that she can't protect herself. The Snakes had both of us, after all." He looked at her firmly, "I am trusting you with my instincts even though my better judgement and paranoia tell me I shouldn't. You are...you are safe. This place is safe. Your territory. You won't let anything happen to me if you can help it."

"Damn right I won't." Zan said through gritted teeth. She paused taking a few breaths before she put her hands down. She looked at James and stared at him. "I'm happy you trust me. I'm glad I'm one of the few you probably consider as a friend." She said softening her voice. "I care about Angelina too. My brother certainly adores her. You're safe with us, James. Both of us. You're not the only people we've hidden. If we hid them, we can hide you too."

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 5:58 pm

They walked through the club’s doors and into a room with flashing bright lights, a D.J who was dropping the bass and everyone shouting and laughing. Having a real good time. There were people who dressed up completely whacky and some who were just casually wearing jeans and tank top. Angelina was wearing phat pants that she borrowed from Zan along with a belt to keep it up her waist, as well as a dark neon blue wig. She only had a few bracelets on her wrists since Zan gave them to her and told her that her left arm was to trade, the right arm was for her to keep whatever bracelet was transferred onto to her.

They went through the PLUR handshake a few times so that Angelina wouldn’t stumble when someone offered to exchange candy. They also went over the rules of the club so that they didn’t get into trouble. Angelina was mostly the pack mule since her pants had more pockets and she wasn’t easy to sneak up on.

Zan on the other hand was once more wearing barely anything. A bright big tutu with long ass rainbow stockings. She wore her bright neon green wig and she wore outrageous makeup. She moved like she was apart of the party already. She grinned at a couple of frequent club goers, hugging a few others before she dragged Angelina to the real pit.

What was fun and strange about all of this, was that the bass was so loud, the music was so loud, and the bright lights were distracting enough to make the walls feel like they weren’t there. The people’s thoughts couldn’t permeate the atmosphere.

On the D.J’s booth from where Angelina could see, was a boy who was brightly blonde, lips holding onto a sucker, and he too wore kandi. Not as much as the majority who were listening to his music, but enough to qualify him as apart of the scene.

“Candy.” Zan yelled in her ear.

“What?!”

Zan gestured to the D.J. “His name is Candy.” She explained. “He’s the best D.J in this club sometimes. Unless Teddy is around.”

“Whose Teddy?”

“Another D.J.”

Angelina nodded, but she didn’t really get it. The music though was pretty good. Someone bumped into her and she smiled as the Raver gave an apologetic look back. Angelina tugged on the blue wig, but she didn’t take it off. She looked around at her surroundings for a bit longer. Everyone was dressed, wearing kandi. She looked down at her wrist. What did she have to do to trade?

As if reading her mind, Zan brought Angelina close to her and grinned. “Dance with me.” She said and started dancing. It wasn’t anything that she’d ever seen before. Then again no one was dancing in the same way. It wasn’t crazy like she saw on youtube videos were they brought in light up hula-hoops or light up batons. But someone did bring in gloves and a lot of someones did bring in glow sticks.

She felt a pinch and she looked at Zan. Zan smiled and winked at her. She was supposed to be dancing, right.

Angelina couldn’t remember nor recall how long they been in there, but soon enough Candy was done with his set and another D.J was walking up and setting up. It was break time. Zan and Angelina followed the crowd to a small concession stand where there were drinks for them to get. Someone tapped Angelina’s shoulder and she turned around.

“Hey.” The raver said. Her hair was a bright yellow and she wore a kandi bra that looked like Captain America’s shield on one breast and the Winter Solider Star on the second breast. Angelina stared before remembering to look back up at the woman’s face.

“You new?” The raver asked and Angelina nodded. “How are you liking it so far?”

“I like it. Candy’s music really good. I wonder how the next D.J will be.”

“Terrance? Probably just as good.” The raver replied. “So do you have a name?”

“A rave name? No.” Angelina shook her head.

“Hmmm…” The girl tapped her finger to her lips. “Tell me a bit about yourself.”

“I like building computers, I like anime right now we’re watching Fruits Basket so I like cats, and I like the neon colors.” She gestured to the club. “I like the music.”

“Computers, anime, cats, and colors.” The Raver nodded. “Sounds like the very definition of a Neon to me. I’d call you electric or even NyanCat but that meme died out years ago it’s not even funny. I’m Vibrance.”

“Vibrance. Nice to meet you.”

“Do you want to trade?” Vibrance out one of her arms. “This is all my tradables.” They went all the way up to her elbow, just like Zan’s did. “You can pick one if you like. Or do you want me to chose for you?”

“You chose for me.” Angelina said and Vibrance’s lips curled into a very bright smile. She held her hand out and they did the pattern. When their hands were clasped closed, the bracelet was transferred over their joined hands and were on her wrist. Angelina gestured for her to wait and did the handshake with her to trade one of hers to the girl.

“Nice work.” Vibrance beamed. Zan came back with two bottles of water. “See you around Neon. Bye Sour Patch!”

“Sour Patch?”

“My favorite candy. I was snacking on it the first time one of the raver’s met me. It became my raver name. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.” Zan beamed. “Come on, let’s go Neon.”

~*~

The girls came back to the apartments around six in the morning. Angelina was holding up fairly better than Zan, but not by much. The new situation, the lights, and not to mention the music had been so very overwhelming and her mental capacity for anything other than finding a bed and sleeping for the rest of the day was beyond her.

Zan gestured for Angelina to follow her to her bedroom and pushed stuff off of her bed. They both got undressed without really taking note of what was going on other than the focus of sleep. Zan wiped off her make up, brushed out her hair and gave the brush to Angelina who did the same. Zan pushed Angelina onto her bed and snuggled on her side of it.

Angelina was out like a like within seconds.
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:12 pm

~*~

Ten in the morning on the dot. Dylan was finished brushing his teeth and the smell of freshly brewed coffee rose Angelina first, he noticed. Smiling, he handed her a cup, already a light color from the added creamer and sugar, "I know how you like it by now, with enough mornings you've spent with me."

Angelina smiled as she took the cup and she breathed in. The coffee smelled really good along with the sweetness of french vanilla. She took a sip and hummed softly before opening her eyes. "Morning Dyl-dal." She said cheerfully. "Didn't mean to crash here. Too tired to go home. Zan shoved me into her bed."

"I expected it. Good thing your dad already knew where you were," Dylan nodded and he blinked a little at the name she gave him, "I like that. Dyl-dal. Did you have fun last night with Zan?" he asked curiously and poured his own cup, adding his ingredients, and guided her to a chair so she wouldn't fall down, "Did you drink at all? I hope Zan didn't drink on your first rave."

"We had water." Angelina shook her head. "But this girl named Viberance gave me a name. She called me Neon. She was really pretty. She had a Captain America and a red star kandi bra on."

"Ha, I was talking about alcohol, but water's good. Lots of water when you're dancing so you stay hydrated," Dylan nodded, "Vibrance. She loves Captain America. Always has a little something to show her love. A bracelet on her keep arm, leggings, shirt, skirt, what have you. A kandi bra is no surprise. I see her outside of the raves sometimes."

"That's pretty cool." Angelina beamed as she took another drink. "Did you meet her at a Rave?"

"Nope, at the lan center I work at," Dylan shook his head, "That's basically a computer place to play games. Maybe fifty computers? Twenty x-box? Ten in the front where we put kids and make sure they don't walk into the stripper club in Grand Theft Auto. The rest are in the back. Five wall-mounted, the rest set on the counters. Pretty chilly on the inside. Feels great to walk in there mid-summer but after a bit it feels like you need to walk back outside to warm up. Downright freezing in the wintertime. Basically wear your winter jacket the whole time and three other layers underneath," he laughed softly.

"Do they ever need people to fix thing?" Angelina asked tilting her head as she took another sip of her coffee.

"Oh, all the time. I can't build computers myself like I told you before but Vince knows a few tricks and my boss can build them. Helps keep things afloat since buying the newest greatest hit in gaming can be expensive at sixty bucks a pop," Dylan rolled his eyes.

Angelina nodded. "I can build computers. I can fix them too. I can help when needed if you need it. I don't know how much I should charge. It'll have to be by damage."

"You'll figure it out as you go," Dylan promised, "I can help you out with that, too. I'll let you know if somethin' needs fixin' and hey, it'll be yet another new place for you to go. Won't that be fun to add it to your list? I can take you whenever just to get you familiar, too. Here at home, I can show you my computer games and x-box games. You might like it, you might not."

"Sounds like fun." Angelina grinned brightly. "It'd be nice to expand it. Though I should probably go home soon. Let dad know I'm okay. He's probably worried. I can come back though. We can play a game."

"You do that. You've only had four hours of sleep as it is," Dylan ruffled her hair. it wasn't a pat like he'd seen James do, but it was something she was used to at the same time, "You know the rules. Take the cup and bring it back later." He winked a bit and stood up, guiding her to the door, "I am glad you had fun," he reiterated, grinning, "Take care and see you in a few hours."

()
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 7:37 pm

After taking a nap once he was done with his run with Steve and Sam, James woke when he heard the sound of the window being slid open and he stirred, blinking slowly and stared at his daughter who was fiddling with the blinds before she went and opened the doors to the closet, checked them, and slid them closed again. A spin and she snapped the door open again before closing it slowly. What was she seeing? Sitting up very slowly, he called to her, "Anzhelina?" He used her Russian name, but not in an upset voice, just to get her attention, trying to also make his confusion evident.

Angelina didn’t hear him. She knew he was in the room otherwise she would be freaking out a little more. She walked back over to the window, fiddled with the blinds and opened the window. The air was sharp and crisp on her nostrils and she could hear the traffic, but she couldn’t register it.

“Back in prison.”

“New mission perimeters.”

“What are they?”

“Blood.”

“Whose blood?”

“Does it matter?”

“Never matters.”

“Protection.”

“Protection?”

“Liar, liar, liar, liar.”

“Back to the Cage.”

“Go on.”

“Go on.”


She swallowed as she shut the window and walked over to the closet door and slid it open again. The shadows inside didn’t look like shadows. She saw a man hanging from a rope, she saw a woman bleeding on the floor. She could hear laughter in her ears. She could feel someone’s hands on her skin. She reached on her arm to feel where it was coming from.

“You can’t run away.”

“No point.”

“Animal.”

“Monster.”

“Murderer.”

“Assassin.”

“Ghost story.”

“Isn’t it strange?”

“Isn’t it funny?”

“Freedom is another prison.”

“Blood.”

“Fall down.”

“Get up.”

“Monster.”

“Murderer.”

“You’re no assassin. You can’t even kill-“


She scraped her nails down her arm as she shut the closet door, to hide the blood and the bodies.

“Tată is going to be so disappointed in you.”

“You promised no killing.”

“You hid them in the closet.”

“Shame on you.”

“Shame.”


She covered her ears and she let out a sharp whimper as she slid down to the ground, unable to stand anymore.

New mission perimeters and protection. He'd told her that. Freedom is another prison? Who couldn't she kill? He would be disappointed in her? His heart twisted and he slowly got off of the bed. What did he do? He decided to experiment. Best way to find anything out was to trial and error. So, he grabbed a blanket off of her bed, a fuzzy one that was a bit heavy and he fluffed it around her shoulders and stepped back in case she lashed out. She jerked, then drew it closer. Okay. Good. Kneeling, he got himself into a cross-legged position and brought her into his lap, knowing from previous days she reveled in his hugs. She couldn't hurt him too bad if she thought he was a threat, anyway.

Something soft touched her shoulders and hands and she drew it in. It wasa little heavy, and the weight made her feel a little more grounded. The voices were still there, but she could at least register that this was /real/. Someone sat across from her, her father, and pulled her close to him. She didn’t know what to think, but she liked that he was stroking her hair.

The voices were still loud, were still trying their hardest to be heard. Sentences mixed together and she closed her eyes again, trying to get it all to stop. She felt her heart race and her cheeks were wet. She didn’t know when she started crying, she probably had been since this whole thing started.

Heartbeats were real.

Her father’s touch was real.

The blanket was real.

The tears….real or fake?

“Doesn’t matter.”

“Never mattered.”

“New mission.”

“Protection.”

“No killing.”

“But you did.”

“It’s in your blood.”

“Always in your blood.”

“Its in your head.”

“Can’t escape.”

“Won’t escape.”


She gripped at her arms again, not wanting to grip on her dad if he was still there. The touch was a little muted but she could tell that she was still with someone.

“Slut.”

“Whore.”

“Never mattered in the first place.”

“He’s going to be disappointed in you.”


“<Shut up.>” She pleaded after a moment, aloud and trying to bury herself in the blanket, in the hug. “<Leave me alone. I know. I know. I know. I failed. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I know. Shut up.>”

"<How did you fail, Anzhelina?>" James murmured. He couldn't tell her she didn't do anything wrong if he didn't know what she thought she did. "<Talk to me. What happened?>"
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 8:12 pm

"<Protect mission. I don't know where we are. The voices are loud.>" Angelina closed her eyes tightly. "<I killed people. They're in the closest.>" She pointed at the closet.

James slowly moved away from her and shuffled over to the closet on his knees, not wanting to be taller than her and threatening. Hooking his fingers in the edge he pulled it open as she covered her eyes. Was this their version of checking for monsters under the bed? "<Baby girl, I don't see anything,>" he cooed to her tenderly, "<There are no bodies. No blood. You are safe. Home. We made a home. We have not killed anyone. We have not stolen anything. We made friends. Do you remember your friends? Dyl-dal? Vince? Zan?>"

Vince. Dylan. Zan. Zan with the good aim with the tray. Dylan and his taste for coffee. Vince and his kinds words. Angelina burst into tears and she listened to him come back, gently pulling her back into his hug. She could still hear the voices, still hear them complain that she was messed up and didn't deserve to be with him. "N-nothing?" She choked.

"No, nothing. No bodies, no blood," James promised, rocking her back and forth for a few minutes before he hoisted her up bridal-style and took her to the living room, placing her on the couch. He then moved around, making sure to make his actions heard, and it was weird to purposefully make his footsteps heavy. Windows were opened, even the balcony glass door was cracked open, and he patted her head before he made his way to the kitchen. "I am going to make you some tea." He told her, announcing his location and his actions, before he got out the kettle and the mug and picked out Angelina's favorite tea and got the honey, since this particular one tasted better with it instead of sugar.

The room was bigger, and the walls weren't closing in. The doors and the windows were open beside the front door. She could hear the traffic. Zoom, beep beep, zoom. She brought the blanket closer to her and she could listen to her father's heavy footsteps, uncertain and unpracticed. For a moment she thought about reminding him that they needed to be quiet, that it was a mission. But she also reminded herself that Zan and Dylan knew where they lived. Vince knew where they lived. There was no such thing as a mission anymore. She heard the kettle go off, a cupboard shutting. More footsteps. It was becoming clear it was more and more like a military gait. A powerful step. He came back and pressed the mug into her hands. She took it and he came to her side again, holding her close and letting his hands touch her skin. Where the cuts were slowly healing. His touch didn't burn. She melted into the embrace and she inhaled the tea. Lavender, lemon and honey hit her senses and she breathed out. Her heart was slowing in it's rhythm.

"That's it, just deep breaths," James soothed, kissing her temple, "You're safe. I love you. You're okay. /We're/ okay." He said the last part firmly.

She took a sip of the tea as she leaned against him, tasting the sweet tea on her tongue for a moment. "Did I...scare you?" He never seen her like that before. He was doing his best, but she couldn't read his mind right now. Her panic was already draining her and making her feel like Zan took her out to three raves at one time.

"A bit," James told her softly, and rubbed her arm when she frowned, "That's okay, though. It's okay to be scared, for me to get scared. I didn't know what to do. I handled it, however. We're okay. I won't be scared next time," he promised.

Angelina didn't speak for a while. She watched him rub her arm and watched his fingers gently carcass her skin, reminding her with gentle touches that she was here. He was here. "I never wanted you to see that. To know I'm sick." Tears welled up. "Hydra didn't like when I was sick. Force me to do things while I had episodes. Cages and prison."

"I'm sick, too, baby," James reminded, "I understand. Is that how you know how to help me?"

Angelina nodded after a moment. "I don't like it when you fall down." She murmured. "I don't like it when you fight against the Soldat. But I get why. So I talk and I hope it's anchoring. You anchored me a lot. This could've been worse. On the floor unmoving. That happens. More often. I was overwhelmed."

"I understand. So much has happened in such short time. I'll let Zan and Dylan know we need a break. Just a couple days to breathe. I'm sure they'll be okay with that," James soothed, "Everything will be okay. It was bound to happen. I am glad I am anchoring," he smiled, "I'm proud of you. You've done so well."

She felt her heart swell and she leaned against him again, taking another warm sip of her tea. "I love you." She was glad that he wasn't disappointed in her and she was happy that he thought she did well. It meant that the voices were lying today.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:33 pm

River seen the lost look on a guy before but that was usually for clothes, for accessories or even for things like "I pissed off my girlfriend and now I need to make up with her asap." But this type of lost look this man was wearing was more like overwhelmed than he was lost for choices. She walked over to him, making sure not to startle him, and grinned. "Hello. Can I hel-" He turned to her, and she blinked a few times. He wore a baseball cap, he had on a jacket and gloves despite the weather, and he looked at her like he was both lost in thought and lost a little further than that. His eyes didn't have a bright light. "Can I help?" She repeated, knowing that she cut herself off rudely. "I'm River Cross. One of the people who run the store."

"I...uh...Vince, I know Vince and he told me about this place. Gave me the address and all," James shifted, tilting his head and looking at her from under the cap, icy eyes observing her carefully. She had purple hair, just passed the shoulders and it was thick and poofy. Looked soft, too. She took good care of it. Her eyes were a darker blue, like the ocean waves, and shimmered as if the sun was playing off the water. Where in the /hell/ were these thoughts coming from?

Shaking his head he took a breath, "I came here to check the place out before my daughter came to take Calla's drawing lessons with our friend. I also...wanted to get them both supplies, since they aren't offered, and surprise them. One of them...his birthday was a long time ago and I was a bad friend and didn't get him anything."

River nodded. She remembered Vince telling them about a little girl who had white hair, stressed out, and could read minds. She was certain this was the same guy. "Let's worry about getting the supplies for Angelina first. Then we'll worry about getting your friend a "I'm sorry I fucked up" present." She smiled gently and she walked down the aisle a bit and took down a small set of pencils. She started looking through the erasers and grabbed three of them. A gummy, a regular, and a triangle. She also took down a small set of shaders. "This is mostly all she's going to need." She told Bucky sincerely. "If she needs a sketchbook or anything, I'll toss in one of mine. Supplies get costly but...these are the best options and they don't cost /too/ much." She'd definitely throw in a hidden discount. "What type of artist is your friend?"

"Charcoal, mostly..." Sudden memory was sudden? Good one, though. "I've seen him use more pencils these days, so honestly I don't know. I'm sure he has plenty of sketch books. Hasn't had a lot of inspiration or time which is why Angel suggested the class." He tapped his chin while he looked at the items, "He's dabbled in quite a few mediums, but...yeah." He shifted again, chewing his lip and held Angelina's items close. He would trust River's judgement in these things since he had no flipping clue. "I'm...being rude. My name is James."

"James. I like that." River said smiling warmly. "I think it suits you. Considering your friend's an artist and what not I don't think I have to worry too much about supplies. I guess it'd be bad to text him and ask him if he needs anything though, considering it's a surprise." She tapped her finger to her lips. "I bet he'd like a better charcoal set." She mused as she picked out one. "Maybe some new shaders too..." She went back down the aisle to grab the same packet of shaders she grabbed for Angelina. "But if you think that's not enough," She gestured for him to follow and she lead him to the gift area where they had paintings, tapestries and small cross stitches as well as crochet blankets. "You might find something here to add on to if you think he might like it or need it."

"Um..." James stared at items and things, fingering a tapestry of an underwater world. "I like all of these, but...nothing seems to stand out that it suits him. I like the charcoal set you gave me," he looked at all the stuff in his hands. He would have to grab a box and ribbon. There was a pang in his chest and he wished he could hand these to Steve himself, but maybe he could use Zan instead to hand over both boxes of gifts. Surprise Angelina on top of it. Wouldn't that be fun? A smile played on his lips at the idea and he nodded to himself, "I think...my friend will be happy to get anything from me, honestly. We don't talk much but he always gets so excited when he hears from me. I feel bad, but...it's my own terms right now and he understands that."

River nodded. "It's always the thought that counts." She smiled gently. "Do you want me to wrap up the charcoal set? I have wrapping paper and a gift bag. Of course there's nothing wrong in doing it yourself too." She shook her head from side to side. "I just like giving people options. Calla thinks I give people too many but...it is what it is."

"I'll take these in separate boxes? But I'll find my own wrapping paper and stuff," James shook his head, "Thank you so much, River. I appreciate this." They walked back towards the front where the cash register was when something caught his attention. He placed the things on the counter to free his hands and then walked over to it. It was a crochet blanket in two shads of blue, two shades of purple, white and silver. Feeling the heft of it it was surprisingly light. Taking it off the rack he unfolded it and was shocked to discover it was big enough to wrap his big body in. It was warm, too. He didn't feel like he was being confined at all, not like when Angelina tried to drape him in her fuzzy blanket. He even barely had a fluffy comforter on his bed. Draping it over his arm he also put it on the counter, "This one's mine."

River beamed happily and rang up his stuff and boxed up what he said that he wanted to box. She folded the blanket neatly, as if she knew the yarn inside and out and she carefully bagged it. "Wash the blanket it by itself and be very careful with it. I suggest hand washing, but it's also safe to machine wash so long as you do it on delicate. Dry it the same way. It's acrylic yarn so it doesn't need too much special care."

"I'll remember that. Thank you again. It was...very nice meeting you." James took one more glance around. He would have to come back just to...browse. "You have a beautiful shop. I'll be back." He promised, taking his stuff and flashing her a smile before he turned and left. He had no idea that smile was the exact one Steve had told him was his 'melt hearts like butter' smile.

~*~
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Tue Sep 27, 2016 11:49 pm

Unfortunately in spite of the good afternoon, his mind was determined to crash his mood.

"Bucky!"

It was dark. It was cold. Scratch that, it was /beyond/ cold. It was freezing. He couldn't feel anything except the burning pain in is left arm. Opening his eyes yielded only closing them tightly against the brightness of the snow. Then he felt himself being picked up and dragged. Opening his eyes he saw the face of a soviet soldier. Looking down he saw a bloodied mess where his arm /should/ be. He blacked out from shock.

The cell was grimy. Filthy. Also freezing. He was mostly naked, just in rags that used to be clothes. He refused to sleep on the bed, choosing to keep his back to the corner, passing out like that from pain and sleep exhaustion and sometimes the hypothermia. His body wouldn't get frostbitten. He couldn't believe the metal arm he'd been shoved with. It felt strange. He didn't understand how it moved like his right one did, like it was a real flesh and bone limb with nerves instead of machinery and wires.

He waited.

Waited.

It was so lonely.

Where was Steve?

They kept...doing things. Horrible things. He'd died maybe a dozen times so far only to come back to life when they put the pieces back together and jump-started his heart. He had scars only because being deprived of proper nutrition and care caused it to be infected and fester. No amount of serum could heal that. He was also imperfect.

The chair. It was awful. He didn't remember his sisters anymore. He didn't remember his parents. Nothing about his family. He didn't remember the Howlies except maybe faces. Soon those faded.

He could only remember Steve.

He waited.

Where was Steve?

He saved him before. He would come. Wouldn't he? The man with big blue eyes like the sky he glimpsed from the window in his cell. He'd almost forget, and then he would remember by looking at the sky. He would almost forget, and then he would remember the warm golden blond hair when the sun would hit his skin and chase away the chill for a little while.

Steve...

Where are you?

He'd shed so many tears he couldn't emotionally do so anymore. His voice was raw for a while only to heal up quickly so he could scream it hoarse again.

A gruff voice speaking Russian.

Steve was dead.

He screamed all night, even through the blood he would cough up from his raw throat. He kept screaming.

He didn't fight anymore.

Steve wouldn't come for him.

He was alone. Steve was dead. There was no use waiting for something that wouldn't happen.

Comply. Confirm. He lost count of how many times he died. Who was Steve? Who was the person with blue eyes like the sky? Who was the person with warm blond hair like the sun? That blond hair wasn't warm anymore. The sky was no longer blue. Everything was grey.

Everything was black and dead. Even his heart. Everything was a shadow. Even his memories unless they were useful to the mission. Everything was a ghost. Even himself.
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Wed Sep 28, 2016 12:51 am

Angelina woke up not only to the nightmare bleeding into her mind, but to the dead eyes of the Solider staring at her. She didn't stiffen up, nor did she try to speak yet. She waited as she watched him. The Solider's eyes flicked around the room, like he was trying to place where he was and she spoke softly. "Uncle Steve's alive." His eyes snapped back at to her. "But no longer a mission. New mission: protect." She watched him. "I can get proof if you want it." Talking the Solider and talking to her father were two different things. The Solider didn't care much for her ramblings and would get easily irritated if he couldn't keep up. Her father on the other hand clung to her ramblings like a lifeline.

Soldat slowly tilted his head at he, but he let a rumble hum in his throat. "<Confirm. Will take proof.>" Even is Romanian sounded scratchy and he rubbed his throat as if that would make it work properly. He touched his cheeks and scowled at his wet fingers. He stood up from the bed and took a quick surveillance before he watched Angelina also get up from her own bed.

"<Living room. I'll be back. Don't kill the person I bring in. Not allowed to hurt civilians.>" Angelina said before she left the apartment. She quickly walked over to Zan and Dylan's apartment, and knocked. She knew she was high diving off of a big drop, but...she needed someone to tell her father the truth.

Surprisingly Zan was the one who opened the door. "Angelina?" She asked blinking a little. "Dylan's asleep-"

"Can you prove Uncle Steve is alive?" Angelina quickly cut in, whispering softly.

"....I can do more than that. Why?" Zan asked carefully. "Is your dad having an episode?"

Angelina bit her lip.

"Okay." Zan murmured quietly and she quickly walked back to where she had her phone on the coffee table. She picked it up and gestured for Angelina to start walking. "Shh." Zan murmured, wrapping her arm around Angelina's shoulder. "He's gonna be okay, Angie-girl." She promised softly.

They walked back to the apartment and Angelina blinked slowly when she saw the Solider wrapped in a very beautiful blanket. She remembered seeing that blanket when he bought it. He said that he found it in a store, but wouldn't say what store. He was very fond of that blanket. She didn't realize it was a favorite object. She filed that away for next time before running off to find someone.

"Hey James." Zan said carefully, neutrally. "Angelina said you wanted to know more about Steve. Are you alright hearing his voice?"

Soldat frowned deeply, "Query: What do you mean? Contact denied. Fake. Can't be. Said he was dead. Voice could be recording."

"I'm not telling you to talk to him." Zan replied simply. "I have his phone number. In fact, I can prove that it's not a recording too. How you want me to prove that is up to you. Believe me, he's heard me say a bunch of weird shit on the phone. So whatever you chose isn't going to phase me much."

Angelina could already tell that a lot of those weird conversations and phrases were Dylan's and Vince's fault. Steve liked talking to Zan, but her brother and his best friend seemed to also be his favorite icing on the cake too.

Soldat licked his lips. What to say. Phrase. Weird. His mind conjured up the old wizard in the movie Lord of the Rings. "Speak Friend and Enter."

"Okay." Zan dialed up Steve.

The phone rang a few times before a deep rumbly voice spoke. "Zan?"

"Hey Steve. Did I wake you up?" Zan asked, putting on a cheerful voice. Angelina was a little frightened on how /good/ Zan's acting was. Why wasn't she on Broadway?

"We don't talk about sleep Zan." Steve groaned. "You have a sixth sense when it comes to nightmares you know that?"

Zan clicked her tongue in sympathy. "Was it the train, the plane, or was it you being stupid?"

"Why do you always tack on the stupid part?" Steve's voice had a hint of a smile in it.

"I don't know, Steve. Sometimes I think you like to create your own nightmares to justify you being sad." Zan replied deadpanned.

"Ouch." Steve chuckled again. "I was dreaming of the plane."

Soldat wanted to unstick his tongue and reply to the stupid part, then Steve's response made him stay quiet. Plane. What plane? This was the Captain's voice, for sure. He wasn't sure what to think about it, however. Zan's voice also had a calming effect, oddly enough.

"I think everyone's dreaming of you dying, Steve." At Steve's squawk she suddenly turned the tables. "Speak Friend and Enter. It's like once you're a friend we all share nightmares."

"Whose everyone?" Steve said suspiciously. "And did you just quote Lord of the Rings at me?"

"I did." Zan said proudly. "And everyone is everyone, Steve."

"Zan..." Steve warned. "If that's your code word for trouble that's too long of a phase."

"My code word for trouble is pineapple. We've gone over this." Zan rolled her eyes and Angelina let out a panicked giggle.

Soldat felt his face contort. Pineapple? Pineapple was gross. Also didn't belong on pizza. He felt his heart start hammering. Steve. Don't come over. There's no trouble. He's been good. No one's dead. There's no blood. He's been good! He stood up from the couch, blanket clasped around his broad shoulders, and he started pacing.

Zan watched him for the longest time and softened her voice, like was soothing someone. Whether it was the Solider or Steve it was hard to tell. "Besides Steve it's...Angelina actually."

"Angelina's in trouble?" She could hear the fast rustle of blankets and she could hear a loud thump and him hissing swears under his breath.

Soldat stopped the pacing as soon as he started to turn and stare at Zan. What?

"No you moron." Zan rolled her eyes again. "Angelina's the one that had the nightmare. She dreamt that you were dead by Hydra." She looked at Angelina and mouthed "I am so fucking sorry" at her.

"Oh..." Steve's panic suddenly disappeared. "Is she...?"

"I have her on speaker phone." Zan assured gently. "She's too scared to talk right now, so I'm doing all the talking to keep you talking."

"Right..." Steve said slowly. "I'm sorry. I..."

"You always have to be the hero Steve." Zan murmured. "Don't feel guilty you immediately thought of trouble."

Soldat exchanged a look with Angelina and felt his shoulders drop in relief. 'He didn't say the word for friend...' he pointed out to Angelina, trying to lighten up. Steve was real. Steve was alive. This wasn't a recording. It was too long. Not choreographed. His mind threw back his reaction to the soviet soldier telling him Steve was dead. His screaming. He rubbed his throat again and felt something his his hand. Looking at it he realized he was crying again.

Angelina smiled warmly and she walked over to him. She let him touch her if he wanted to, but also kept her distance so that he didn't feel trapped or contained. She was happy that her father was relieved that Steve was alive. She nodded at Zan and Zan smiled brightly.

"I'm going to let you go, Steve." Zan said gently. "It's been a long night. Angelina's convinced that you're alive and well."

"Tell her I'll meet her at the cafe." Steve said softly. "We can go to the park and play some catch or something. I haven't been the greatest Uncle in the universe."

"Steve you're so good with babies." Zan grinned brightly. "You're the /best/ Uncle."

"Angelina's a /teenager/." Steve sounded appalled.

"She's a precious cinnamon roll that needs to be protected is what she is." Zan quipped back.

"Oh my god hang up now. I get enough memes from Vince. I don't need you on this." Steve groaned. "Sam too. I'm going to bed. Good night, Mellon."

"Good night, Steve." Zan snarked back as she hung up. "Satisfied?"

A firm nod. "Confirm. Friend. Approved. Thank you..." He took a glance around the apartment, "Not everything is grey."

Zan smiled warmly. "You did a good job." She praised. "Mission accomplished. Do you need me here or leave?"

"No. Unnecessary to stay. Bed...all of us. Mission accomplished," he confirmed, "Sleep well."

()
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Wed Sep 28, 2016 1:04 pm

The class was a mixture of teenagers to young adults. If Steve had to guess, he was the oldest one here. The youngest was about thirteen who was struggling like Angelina. Steve had walked around a few times when he needed a break just to see what everyone was doing as Calla had encouraged that. A lot of them really were learning fast. Some of them still had to work a bit on shading and how to make it on eye level, but for beginners they were pretty good. The thirteen year old on the other hand didn't have an eye for detail yet so she was still trying to figure out how to make a apple look like an apple and not a cartoon apple, even though Calla did say all styles were welcomed.

Calla probably spent the most time with the thirteen year old and Angelina as they really didn't have much of a clue of what was going on in a drawing. Steve did his best to guide Angelina, but he soon realized that for Angelina it wasn't much the attention to detail, she just couldn't translate what she saw onto paper. The thirteen year was definitely having troubles with details.

Calla was pretty fun with her sharp wit and wicked sense of humor. She would banter with her students like they were friends. She wore some pretty bright clothes and she had her hair tied back into a ponytail. Sometimes some of the things the teenagers would say made Steve laugh along side Calla, but Calla's comeback made him hold back louder laughter since one of the students brought in a baby carrier.

Which was probably the funniest part of the entire class. Johanna was a single mom, Steve had found out, and she was about twenty-four years old. Normally she would have Vince, Dylan, or Suzanna babysit but neither of them were available and she didn't want to bother Dylan's new neighbor for any help. "I don't know him too." Johanna confessed quietly to Steve. "So there's that." While Johanna had her own sense of humor, it was actually the kids reaction to the baby carrier that made it so hysterical.

They treated it like a bomb was about to go off. If someone dropped a book loudly on the ground by accident, everyone glared and did the simultaneous "Shh" at them, making them turn a bright beat red. Steve joined the fun by giving the teen a steady "Captain America is Disappointed in You" look just to see the reaction and had to hide his own grin when the student turned even redder. The young adults just looked like they were having a blast being able to rib the younger students without too much worry of a comeback.

No one /dared/ to go towards Johanna's carrier too. They all took the long way around if they wanted to see her work. Probably so that they could show Calla that they weren't being distracted by the baby. Though Steve caught them peaking to make sure that the "time bomb" was still asleep in the carrier.

When class was over, instead of chattering loudly, the teens would /wait/ with /horror/ as Johanna picked up the carrier with ease and Steve walked over to the door to help her with it. "Thanks." Johanna grinned and Steve took his own peek into the carrier.

"A Black Widow pacifier?" Steve couldn't help but to ask when he noticed that the baby, probably no older than two was sucking on it.

"Sorry Mr. Rogers. But Natasha Romanov has a special place in my heart." Johanna winked at him as she walked away. Steve would've offered to walk her home, but Angelina was already running after her with a forgotten sketchbook.

He returned to the classroom and smiled as he watched the teens flood out into the shop to get out of here. "Let me help you clean up." He said to Calla as he started pushing chairs in and gathering discarded pencils that the students, most likely a few of the teens forgot.
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PostSubject: Re: Forgotten Memories and Golden Repair   Wed Sep 28, 2016 4:30 pm

"People like you, just can't tell you no," Calla teased Steve before she started on the other half of the room, putting forgotten things in plastic pencil boxes and then in the cupboards. One everything was off the tables and floors she shoved the tables to one side of the room, stacked the chairs, Steve copying her on his designated side. "Unfortunately I don't have two brooms so you're just gunna have to stand there and look pretty now," she waved her hand at Steve and set the standing dust-pan she'd grabbed in the corner.

Finally having a moment to breathe, since sweeping was boring, she spoke up, "You took a lot of breaks. Your drawing...it was forced. If you didn't have something designated to draw you wouldn't have drawn."

"Angelina knew that I haven't been drawing lately." Steve admitted, leaning against the wall and propping his leg up. He folded his arms and watched Calla work. "I haven't really had a spark of inspiration for a while. But, she wanted to learn how to draw. Though maybe it's not exactly her style. She forced herself to do something for my sake. I forced something to do for her sake. It wasn't the best idea we had but...she was trying inspire me. I think that's all that matters really."

"Painting might be more fun. Want to know what my big rule is in my painting class?" Calla asked, glancing up at him briefly.

"Don't get paint on the walls?" Steve tried to kid lightly.

"Hell, the more paint on the walls the better, but no," Calla rose her arm and gestured to the wall behind her that the tables were pressed against, "No drawing on the canvas. We put a coating on it, either in white or a dark color, pick another color, and just start doing whatever. Let me show you one," she said and went to one of the big tall cupboards, picked a random one, and tossed it at him just to see his reflexes, grinning slightly mostly to herself at his 'oh crap' face, but when he caught it it was super gentle since he didn't want to put a hole through the canvas. "Nothing was planned and one of my students made that. I take some inspiration from Bob Ross. Just let it happen and there's no such thing as a mistake."

"That is gorgeous." Steve whistled softly. The sea was usually supposed to be calming, but this was showing that there was a huge tide. The student was either overwhelmed or maybe just inspired from a movie. Not everything was symbolic. He carefully gave it back so that it didn't get ruined. "So it's just whatever you imagine then? I might give that a go. When do you have your painting classes?"

"Whatever picture you have in your head you can put it on the painting. I don't do portrait paintings really, only landscape, so it's really easy. I also use oil paint or watercolor, depends on the class and our facebook will usually tell you which one it is," Calla grinned and locked the painting back up before she went to a drawer and pulled out a notebook, jotting down the name and also something else. Ripping it out she walked back to him, "You should never force yourself to do something. You'll just get upset and not want to do it again. Here, I also added Bob Ross on here, and YT stands for Youtube. It has nearly every episode ever, over about twenty something seasons, thirteen episodes a season, and each video is about twenty-five minutes long give or take. Definitely something to relax to. I have my own playlist of my favorites that I go back and watch every so often."

"I'll check it out, thanks. I'll find you on facebook then." Steve smiled as he took the slip of paper and carefully putting in his pocket. He'd put it in his journal when he got back to the Tower. "I'll more than likely be attending the oil painting if the world doesn't fall apart."

"It only falls apart in pieces, never all at once," Calla rolled her eyes, "What I'm more worried about is if the next big event destroys the library. Vince wouldn't know what to do with himself and River and I would never hear the end of it."

"I can do my best to make sure that there's no libraries harmed come when we need to fight." Steve snorted. "He's a librarian I take it? Or at least someone that loves books a lot?"

Calla laughed, "Good man. Yes, yes he is a librarian and hates it when they're out of order. River and I joke he should've been a detective but he's happier being surrounded by his fictional love interests."

Good enough to be a detective? Steve kept that to himself and he nodded. "I can understand that." He looked at her. "I should probably get out of your hair. Thank you for the lessons and I'll see you for the oil painting. Whenever it is."

"I look forward to seeing you again, Steve," Calla told him honestly, waving at Angelina who was at the door watching them, "Try and coerce your niece into it, too. If she doesn't like it she doesn't have to come back, but it's good to try things once."

Calla finished cleaning up, and then turned to her friend, "I was not expecting Steve Rogers of all people to take my classes. If it wasn't for the fact he is having a major case of art block, I would've joked he should be teaching my class instead of me."

River's smile curled widely. "Would you kill me if I said I knew he was going to take your class?" At Calla's look she grinned brightly. "Vince knows Angelina's dad. I got to meet him. Not that I told him anything." She said quickly. "I don't think he'd react well to all of us knowing who he is."

"Oh wow. No, I don't think so, either. Is Vince planning on pretending to be caught?" Calla arched a brow, "Hey, didn't he buy one of your favorite blankets that you made? You were so ecstatic. It'd been sitting on that rack for ages."

"He did. I told him how to take care of it." River beamed happily. "I don't know what Vince is planning on doing." She shrugged. "Zan's all tight-lipped as well as Dylan."

"They're being good protectors, just like they were and still are for us," Calla nodded with a returned smile, "Maybe we can start trying to be their friends? I'm sure the more places they can call safe the better, right?"

River nodded, "Definitely. So come on. Vince should be home soon with take out."

"Food!" Calla chirped happily and followed River out, but not before hooking their arms together.

~*~
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