“You’re!” He slams his metal fist into Captain Americas face “My!” Again “Mission!” And again.
“Then finish it. Cus I'm with you till the end of the line.” the Captain wheezes. The Soldier is so confused, so angry, cant sort out all of the feeling and thoughts in his head, and his chest hurts. Not from the broken ribs, deeper, more of a burning squeeze around his heart that spreads through his torso.
He screams his frustration and punches the Captains face again, then again, harder this time, until he can feel the captains skull fracture beneath his fist. Till the end of the line. It’s here now, the end. The end of the line, the end of… the end… memories begin to flash through the soldiers mind, of the Captain, small and weak, but so so strong. Oh god, the soldiers head HURTS. And Steve, oh Steve what has he done?
A beam smashes through the floor and the soldier only just manages to grab ahold of the edge while Captain America, Steve, his Stevie, falls through the air, down, down, into the water below. The Soldier hangs, for just moment, watching, before plunging down into the water after Steve’s body. He grabs Steve’s harness with his metal hand and swims to shore, pulling the dead weight of what used to be his best friend. They reach shore and the Soldier lets Steve thunk to the ground. He watches him, waiting for a breath. He has to breathe, has to wake up.The Soldier knows he won’t.
He falls to his knees next to Steve and grabs the front of his uniform and closes his eyes, letting the tears fall onto his friends body. He waits. And waits, and finally the man with the wings and Natalia show up, guns pulled and ready to fire. They stop when they see Steve, head smashed in.
“Stand up, put your hands behind your head.” Natalia orders. The Soldier doesn't move, just continues crying over Steve’s body. “Stand up!” she shouts. The soldier just tightens his grip on steves uniform and bows his head further. The man with the wings, well, wing now, comes up behind the Soldier and grabs his flesh arm and hauls him to his feet. The Soldier could fight, could kill them both, but his will has dissipated, so he lets himself be led away from Steve, swiftly disarmed then put in a van, restraints he could break easily locking him to the seat. Steve’s body is gently loaded onto the floor of the van and Natalia and the man with the wing climb in, and the van starts moving. The Soldier stays silent through the ride, not paying attention to where they are going, not caring, just staring at Steve.
They reach wherever is is that they're going and he is led from the van away from Steve down dark halls to a cell, concrete on three sides and thick strong clear plastic that would take even the Soldier a while to punch through on the fourth. There is nothing in the cell, no light, no bucket, no bed, nothing that could be fashioned into a weapon. The Soldier lets himself be led into the cell and locked in. He goes and sits in the corner farthest from the door, and stares at nothing, thinking only of Steve’s smashed and bloody face.
The Winter Soldier is disturbingly still, eyes dead and mouth slack, like he just doesn't have the energy to close it. It is unnerving just how docile he is, not attacking when agents come in with food, which he doesn't eat, or to lead him to separate room to use the restroom. He follows where he is led, sits where he is told to sit, but never eats, never talks and never sleeps. Just sort of… exists.
After a week they have to force feed him, and he stays still as the tube in inserted up his nose and down into his stomach. After that he's fed through a tube every day, and everyday he does nothing to fight them.
Finally it is decided to question him, find out what happened, find out whatever they can about the elusive Winter Soldier, about Steve’s murderer.
Today is different, he can tell. The agents that come in to feed him are nervous in a way they haven't been since the first few times they came in. After they are done feeding him they leave swiftly, and in their wake Natalia walks in. She sits down across from him and just looks at him for a while.
“Why'd you kill Steve?” she finally asks, softly. The soldier closes his eyes. He killed Steve. God, he murdered his only friend and why haven't they killed him yet? He expected to be executed on the edge of the water, over Steve’s dead body, but instead they insist on keeping him alive. “Why did you kill Steve?” Natalia repeats.
“He was my mission.” the Soldier mumbles.
“Your mission was to kill Captain America?” she asks. The soldier just nods, slowly. “And why would they send you?”
“The soldier is Hydra’s greatest asset.” he answers.
“Well congratulations, you succeeded.” she spits. The soldier leans forward and presses the heel of his palms to his eyes and grits his teeth. “You don't seem like you're very happy about succeeding your mission.”
“Steve was my friend. My friend and I murdered him and why haven't you killed me?! Just… kill me.” the Soldier wails.
“What do you mean he was your friend?” Natalia questions, eyes narrowed.
“He said, he said my name is James Buchanan Barnes, and I remember him. He was so small, he needed me. He needed me and I killed him.” the Soldier explains. He still calls himself the Soldier, he's been the Soldier far longer than he's been Bucky, and he doesn't deserve to be Bucky.
“He said that to us too. Was convinced you could be saved.”
“He was wrong!” Bucky shouts, slamming his metal fist into the ground, breaking the concrete. SHIELD agents swarm in through the door, guns drawn and pointed at the Soldier.
“Stand down!” Natalia hisses at the agents, who slowly lower their guns. The soldiers breaths heave and tears prick at the corners of his eyes. He growls in frustration. He should attack Natalia. Not to hurt her, just to make it seem like he will, then the agents would shoot him and he could be free. Free from this pain he did not ask for but brought upon himself when he smashed steves skull in.
“Don't even think about it Soldier.” Natalia warns. She's too smart, too good at reading people, even if the Soldier isn't much of a person anymore.
“And why not? Why shouldn't I?” he snarls.
“Because Steve wouldn't want you to.” Natalia answers.
“Steve is dead! What you don't seem to understand is that I killed him. I killed him and should be put down, I'm too dangerous to keep alive.” the Soldier insists.
“Thats not what you've been showing us the last month.” she counters. The soldier surges forward and knocks Natalia to the floor, but she does not fight back. The agents have redrawn their guns and one of them lets off a shot that lands in the Soldiers flesh shoulder, causing him to hiss a little but otherwise not react at all. “I said stand down!” Natalia yells at the agents from on the floor. “I'm handling this.” One of them looks like he's going to argue but the agent next to him hits him on the shoulder, shutting him up. The soldier bites the inside of his cheek and looks up at the agent who shot him. He looks nervous, thats good. Nervous means twitchy trigger finger. The soldier continues to stare at the agent, who shifts his weight from one foot to the other. The soldier stands, slowly, keeping his gaze on the twitchy agent. Natalia stands as well, keeping an eye on the Soldier.
“Don't…” she starts, but the soldier rushes the twitchy agent. As expected, the gun goes off and pain blossoms in his abdomen. “Damnit.” Natalia hisses and disarms the twitchy agent, but the damage is done. the Soldier can taste blood, knows his stomach has been punctured, knows he's bleeding, a lot, and hopes this will do it. It'll have to. He staggers back to the corner of the cell he has taken to sitting in and slides down, sitting up against the wall and looks at the twitchy agent.
“Thank you.” he whispers, then coughs, blood bubbling up between his lips.
“No, no, you don't get to do this. You don't get to just give up while the rest of us have to live through this.” Natalia intones, kneeling down next to him. The Soldier just gives a small smile as blood trickles out of the corner of his mouth. There’s movement out of the corner of his eye and the Soldier turns his head to look. Standing there, by his side, is Stevie, small but strong and whole. The Soldiers, no, Bucky’s smile widens at the sight of him. Steve holds out a hand, waiting for Bucky. He lets out a final heaving sigh and feels no more pain, then follows Steve.