Teach Me - Part Two/?
Warnings - mentions of both mental and physical abuse, fluff, swearing, angst.
Lyla sat curled up on the sofa in the Avengers Lounge, the TV was on and a movie created background noise but she wasn’t paying attention to the picture Bucky had decided to put on. Bucky himself sat on the other end, Lyla needed space and he appreciated that, after all she had been through. All she could think about was Steve and Sam, wondering what they were doing at that exact moment, they had been gone for hours and despite Bucky telling her that they would be back soon, she couldn’t help but worry for her friends.
The purple bruise on the side of her face was hard to miss, it made Bucky think of all the reasons why Kyle could have hurt her, what did she do to deserve such violence? Bucky knew that she couldn’t have done anything, it was just the action of a man who needed to prove his dominance over her, his ownership of her; and the mere thought of it disgusted him, “Are you alright?” Bucky asked softly, Lyla continued to stare forward blankly before she dragged her head over in his direction, “Can I get you anything? Tea?”
Lyla’s blue eyes softened at his attempt to make her feel slightly better about the situation, she cleared her throat, “Yeah, that would be really nice, thank you,” Bucky nodded and pushed himself up from the sofa to prepare her drink, remembering the voice in the back of his head telling him it was with two sugars, a dash of milk and not cream, he returned to the sofa, his fingers brushing hers as he handed her his favourite mug, “Thank you,” she held the mug in her hands and pulled it to her lips, smiling slightly, “You make good tea,” she noted as she sat it on her lap, looking at him.
“So I’ve been told,” Lyla raised her brow, “I might have been frozen for a few decades but I can still make good tea, Steve likes it too,” Lyla held her free hand up in mock surrender as he spoke to her playfully.
“You don’t need to explain yourself to me, Bucky, I get it,” she told him before looking back at the screen and settling into the cushions around her body.
The elevator chimed, signalling that there was an arrival on their floor, Lyla slid her mug onto the coffee table and rose to her feet, pulling her sleeves past her hands and folded her arms over her chest, frowning as she did, “Lyla?” Steve entered the lounge with enlarged orbs filled with worry which softened once they found her, he sighed and in one swift movement he went over to her and wrapped his arms around her body, pulling her against his chest and nuzzling his head into her neck as she slowly snaked her limbs around his shoulders and hugged him back, “You’re safe now,” he stroked her hair softly and continued to keep her close as he pulled away and examine the bruise on her face before pulling her sleeves up slowly to see the damage on her arms which looked quite extensive from his eyes.
Sam approached the pair and sadness swirled inside him when he saw her eyes, how empty they looked, “I’m sorry for before, I shouldn’t have snapped, I didn’t mean to scare you or anything,” he told her softly, Lyla cocked her head to the side and smiled before latching herself between his arms, allowing him to cocoon her.
Lyla sniffled and blinked back her tears, “It’s okay, you were protecting me, I can’t thank you enough for that,” she paused as she pulled away, looking over to Bucky, “All of you,” she held Steve’s hand in her own as she sighed, “Did you go to my place?” Lyla asked with dread, mostly directed at Steve.
Steve nodded, “Yeah, we’ve got some of the guys to bring it up and put it in my room, just until Tony gets something sorted for you, okay?” he caressed her face, his thumb wiping away a loose tear on her cheek, “Kyle wasn’t there,” his jaw tensed as anger bubbled in his abdomen, “Do you understand how much restraint I needed to not go and find him, and kill him for this?”
Bucky had walked around the sofa and joined the trio, forming a circle in the lounge as they all spoke, “I’m guessing it took a lot,” Lyla stated as she looked down, suddenly feeling guilty, “I’m sorry that you guys got dragged into this, I never meant for this to happen,” she rambled as her eyes were trained on the ground, tears streaming down her cheeks.
Sam placed his hand on her shoulder and rubbed her back soothingly, “Don’t you ever say sorry, Lyla,did you really think that we would just leave you?” Lyla shook her head silently, “Exactly, because you’re our friend, you’re family, okay?” Lyla nodded and wiped her nose with her sleeve as she looked up and forced a smile.
The blonde super solider took her hand and she felt another wave of dread, “Come on, let me show you where you’ll be staying,” Lyla nodded and stood on her tiptoes, kissing Sam’s cheek just as Steve pulled her down the hall.
Steve had offered to give her the room, saying that he would sleep on the sofa until her room at the tower was ready, Lyla had declined and had insisted that she was okay with sharing until she got her own room. The brunette admired the decoration, the walls were a pale blue and there was a large super-king sized bed against the wall which had silver covers and pillowcases, there was a grey armchair in the corner by a table which had an open book left face down on the glass. The bathroom contained a shower and a bath which had high ends, a huge sink and a toilet, the room was pristine and white, it was so pure that it brought a smile to her face. The best part about that room was the view, she could see the whole city from where she stood and she felt like a weight from her shoulders had just vanished, “Do you like it?” Steve asked by the doorway, he leaned against it and watched as her fingers traced the skyline onto the window.
“I love it, everything looks amazing from up here,” she told him, he took a chance to look at the woman before his eyes, how despite her situation, she worried for Sam and himself, and most of all, felt guilty for letting them protect her.
Steve smiled softly and moved to stand next to her, “You need to tell me what happened, Lyla, if you don’t want to then that’s okay but I need to know, whenever you’re ready.”
Lyla pondered the thought in her mind and sighed before clambering onto the bed and sitting crossed legged, patting the empty seat in front of her which Steve sat on, “Where do you want me to start?” Steve heart swelled and he shuffled so that he sat next to her, their heads resting on the headboard.
Steve entwined their fingers, “How about the beginning,” he said, Lyla nodded and exhaled deeply before starting her story.
We met at a ball, it was in a fancy venue and he was the host, it was some kind of fundraiser, and since I work in fashion we got invited, a friend and I. It was so strange you know, we walked in and there he was, Mr Kyle Peterson right in front of us. Between work and everything dating was the last thing on my mind, I wasn’t even interesting in dating but of course he had to go and change my mind. Kyle took me to Daniel on 65th Street and tried his hardest to get me to like him, he sent a dress and flowers over that morning, had a car pick me up, wore the best suit I’ve ever seen, and he made it so special and personal, how could anyone say no to that?
Time moved on and we went on more dates, I began to feel more comfortable with him and just happy. Then he invited me to a gala, introduced me to his employees and colleagues, introduced me to his family, everyone; he paraded me around like he had just won the lottery of life, and I loved that. Kyle met my friends from work and the more time we spent together it felt like something was missing when we were apart. So we moved in together, well he moved into my place because he liked it more than his own, it was more homey I guess. That’s when things started to get weird, he got a little more controlling everyday, called me at work demanding to know where I was and what I was doing. I didn’t think anything of it, I thought that he was taking an interest in my life or maybe he was stressed at work, the little things.
One night I got home late, I stayed late at work to finish up some designs for a meeting with production and forgot to text him, and I have a strict no phones rule whilst I’m in the design room, so I didn’t get any of his calls or messages. When I got home he started yelling at me, telling me that he was worried sick and thought I’d been taken or something, and then it moved to accusing me of cheating on him, and everything got out of control and he hit me. Kyle apologised over and over again, saying it was an accident and that he was stressed at work and everything was getting to him more than usual, so I brushed it off as a one time thing, he wouldn’t do it again, he loved me, he showed me off to the world. It didn’t make sense.
The next time it had happened was when I got home from the gym, I told him that I’d run into you and we had a nice chat as we did our routines and he snapped again, he pushed me over the table and it smashed and all the shards got stuck into my arms and legs, and whilst it was painful and my heart was breaking, I again assumed that he was stressed, that he wouldn’t do it again.
But it became a recurring thing, if I wasn’t home on time he’d throw me across the room, push me down the stairs. Kyle stopped me from going to the gym, made sure to buy clothes which covered up the damage he caused, dictated when he wanted me, call my work and tell them I was sick so that he could keep me by his side all day. Kyle would call me at any hour and if I didn’t pick up then he would come and find me, he ruled my life, I couldn’t do anything. If I even muttered a word of it to anyone he’d find out and do it again. At first I was still able to go to the gym, it didn’t hurt that much but I just wore long sleeved shirts instead of sports bras, but the worse it got, the more it restricted my movement. Kyle took pleasure in breaking ribs by kicking me or punching me, he would smash glasses over my skin and get all of his frustrations out before throwing me a towel to clean myself up with. I was so afraid that he’d find me if I left, he knew where all of my friends lived, I had nowhere to go where he wouldn’t find me. I couldn’t leave him, I tried and it ended up with letters of abuse, silent phone calls, and two broken ribs once he found me. It was impossible to escape and I couldn’t tell a soul about how I was feeling, I felt like I was drowning and no matter how hard I tried to swim to the surface, it wouldn’t work. It was suffocating me, I felt like he was the master and I was the puppet.
I don’t know how to feel, while I’m so grateful that you guys came to help me, I can’t help but be scared once he realises what I’ve done. How can you protect me from a man who is hell bent on destroying me?
Steve’s eyes were filled with unshed tears as she told her story, not once did she look at him during it, afraid of what expression would face her if she did. There was an all-consuming rage building in his gut, it was uncontrollable and vengeful, it was pure and filled with fire as his sadness turned to anger, “I’m going to kill that motherfucker,” he seethed as he stood up, grabbing his jacket and sliding it onto his arms, “Where does he work, Lyla?”
Lyla knew better than to stop him, standing up herself and pulling her sneakers on, “I’m not going to stop you, but if you’re going then so am I,” Steve gave her a wary look and began to refuse, but she held her hand up and silenced him, “No Steve, I’m coming, you can’t stop me, okay?” With a sigh of disapproval he nodded.
“Where?” he repeated as they left the room, moving through the Avengers lounge quickly and with determination.
A voice stopped them, “There’s my favourite girl,” it chimed as the owner stood up with open arms, putting them down once he saw her face and then found the look of sheer fury on Steve’s face, “Who are we killing?” Tony asked as himself, Bucky and Sam and stood up and made their way over to them.
Steve smirked, “A guy called Kyle Peterson, you know him?” Tony clenched his jaw and nodded, “Where does he work, Lyla?” Steve asked for the third time.
Lyla looked straight into his eyes, “235 Madison Avenue,” Steve nodded stiffly as he headed to the elevator, three males following him with Lyla in tow, walking behind Bucky who held back to stay close to her, “You can’t just walk in there and punch his lights out,” Lyla stated, earning a groan from Tony and angry glances from Steve and Sam, Bucky stayed neutral, “What? You think that entering a private building with the intent to hurt the best lawyer in the state is just going to work out fine?” Lyla asked with disbelief, “Kyle is devious and manipulative, he has the DA on his side, there’s no way you can just walk in there and beat him up without him coming after you,” Steve attempted to interject but failed when Bucky spoke up first.
“Listen to her guys, Lyla knows this prick better than all of us, maybe we should hold off and wait until he comes to us?-”
“Which he will, he won’t stop until he’s found me,” The five all shared a look with one another, Lyla’s eyes plead with Steve to think the scenario through logically.
Steve hisses and shakes his head, “Fine, we’ll wait until he comes to us,” he pauses and wraps an arm around Lyla’s shoulder, “And when he does, I’ll fucking destroy him.”
Tony gasps, his hand over his mouth as he looks across at Steve with disbelief, “Did- did you just swear?” Lyla and Sam share a look before giggling profusely, Bucky shakes his head with a smirk as he allows Lyla to lean into his side. Steve scoffs before pressing the button to head back up to the main floor, “Jackass.”