Warnings: angst (possibly a part two if you guys want), swearing
A/N - italicized sections are flashbacks! xo
Bucky sat in the same worn chair for three days, not moving unless it was to use the bathroom but even then he made sure he was back within a minute or so. He had studied the room surrounding him, noticing the black and grey scuff marks on the bottom of the doorway or how the paint chipped faintly where the wall touched the ceiling.
Three whole days of hoping, wishing and praying that the rhythmic beeps of the machines would continue, signaling that life was still sitting in front of him. His breath hitched every time the dull beep of the heart monitor would slow for a moment, his eyes scanning across the computerized screen as if it held the cure for death.
“You should go rest, you need to get some food in you. I’ll stay here with her if it’ll make you feel any better.” Steve says from the doorway, his eyes softening at the sight of his best friend in such utter turmoil. Bucky shakes his head, not taking his eyes off the girl in front of him. “It wasn’t your fault, Buck.”
The shaggy haired man doesn’t answer that either, but continues to watch the slow rise of your chest with every breath you took. Internally, Bucky’s at a war with himself, so much so that he can’t focus on anything but that and your safety.
Bucky didn’t know who you were, or at least he didn’t remember. All he knew was that you had been caught in the crossfire between HYDRA and the Avengers and for some reason his first instinct was to take you out of that situation. He didn’t know if you were a HYDRA agent or just a random civilian in the wrong place at the wrong time but none of that mattered because in that moment he felt a sense of familiarity when he saw your face.
Bucky tried hard, so hard to protect you. He would have succeeded too if it hadn’t been for a HYDRA agent shooting at the beams that hung above him, forcing the heavy wood to fall and collapse on the two. Bucky had been unharmed besides a few scrapes and bruises but you weren’t as lucky. The doctors weren’t even sure how you were alive right now with the extent of internal damage you endured.
“Do you remember her? Did you know her?” Steve asks, sitting in the chair opposite to the other super soldier, placing his backpack on the floor. Bucky shrugs, shaking his head slightly as he rattles his brain for that exact answer. “You wouldn’t just save a random person for no reason, at least not like that. You saved her Buck, you held the beams up from crushing her. She isn’t some stranger, you know her. Maybe you don’t remember, but you do know her. I can tell.”
Bucky swallows hard, looking at your limp form on the bed. You have some bad bruises across your small frame, a busted lip and a large gash across your forehead decorate your face. Your left arm and leg are wrapped into tight casts, hoisted up to keep the swelling down from the multiple breaks in your bones. If Bucky hadn’t put his hand across you, your ribs would have been crushed within an instant. Thinking back to it, Bucky didn’t even have to think twice about moving his arm, almost as if it were second nature.
The slight curve of your face, the sharp point of your nose and the elongated arch of your eyebrow were all familiar to Bucky, he just didn’t know how. He knew you were important, he didn’t know why but he definitely knew you were someone he thought of as high up.
“I did some digging.” Steve begins, looking at Bucky to make sure he should continue his sentence. Digging into his backpack, Steve rustles through some papers before pulling out a manilla folder, encased in dark twine.
Bucky peers over, cocking an eyebrow at Captain America. “What’s that?” His voice is gruff but he doesn’t expect anything less as he hadn’t spoken a single word in three days except for when he would call for the nurse if he got nervous about your lack of breathing.
“Just look it over, maybe this will spark some memory.” Steve sighs, handing the folder over to Bucky. The brunet takes it and unties the corse twine from around the folder. When he finally tears off the rest of the twine, he flips the folder open to reveal an info page.
Your pictures on the top left, your long (Y/H/C) flowing down your shoulders in waves. The picture looks to be that of a student i.d image, staged and youthful. Your name is splayed across the right column in italicized letters, Y/N Y/L/N.
Bucky reads on, learning your birthday, home address and even the schools you attended from preschool to college. You were smart, smarter than Bucky thought was possible, with a 4.95 GPA and holding the title of Valedictorian for high school and college graduation.
Flipping the page, Bucky notices the famous HYDRA seal next to your fathers name, a high ranking officer who died in result of the ‘Super Soldier Program’. He almost recognized your fathers name before his eyes widened in horror and he slammed the folder shut.
Steve flinches and goes to console Bucky before seeing the look of guilt and anger on his features. Bucky remembered everything as if it were just yesterday, memories he either had forced from him or he himself decided needed to be gone came flooding back with no intent on stopping.
“Get her out of here! Protect her at all costs, do you understand me?!” Your father rasped, gripping Bucky’s shirt in his fists while pointing at you behind the enhanced soldiers shoulder. Bucky nodded, placing his human hand on your lower back before shuffling you behind him as he made his was to the exit.
You watched in horror as your father was thrown to the ground by one of the rogue super soldiers that had been given the same serum as Bucky. “Dad! Let me fucking go!” You screamed, trying to claw your way out from behind Bucky to go and help your only living family member.
Bucky held tight grip of you, using his metal arm to knock any threat away from you. His mind was set on saving you, the one person he kept his eyes on his entire time in HYDRA’s captivity.
You had enticed him with your frequent visits to the base, being the only person to offer the man a smile and a wave, even once getting so bold as to brush his hair from his face before your father had seen. Bucky was a person and you felt he should be treated as one, not as a test subject. You were against everything HYDRA stood for but that didn’t mean you could just leave your father, he was your only family and you weren’t going to lose him as well.
Before you knew it, Bucky had you shacked up in a highly guarded room, his eyes bouncing around the almost cell looking room, searching for any danger. “Bucky,” You started, stopping to take a deep breath which caught his attention. You were the only person to ever call him Bucky, though he wasn’t truly sure as to why. “Thank you.”
With that, you collapsed into him, crying into his chest at the thought of losing your family. He had let you cry, he wasn’t sure why he hadn’t pushed you away but something inside of him locked on you and only you.
After a while, the guards had all left HYDRA in search of any survivors. You were fast asleep, your head tucked into Bucky’s chest as you dreamt peacefully, eyes still puffy from crying.
He doesn’t know why he did this and he’s not sure why he didn’t take you, but Bucky slipped out from under you, locked all the windows and doors around you and slipped out into the dark of night to finally escape his tormentors. With every step he took he felt guilt pang through his chest, knowing that you would wake up in the morning with nobody.
“I left her.” Bucky croaks, his bottom lip trembling. “I loved her and I was supposed to protect her, I thought i was. She deserves someone who can be with her always, so I left her without saying goodbye.”
Wiping his eyes hurriedly, Bucky inhales deeply to shake the emotions that are crawling up his throat. Too wound up in his own emotions, Bucky failed to realize the sudden decrease in the machine noise until he heard a loud screech and nurses began piling into the room, pushing the two men out.
Buck fought tooth and nail to stay inside, panic sweeping through him as he saw the nurses calling out orders and yelling for doctors. The last thing he saw before he got pushed out was a woman rubbing two paddles together, her face solum and upset.
Steve looked at his best friend with caution, trying to read the situation. “She’ll be okay.” He says weakly, knowing very well that the odds are not on your side after the accident.
“I’m losing her!” Bucky hears through the heavy door, his hands shaking by his sides.