Requested by @jennyheartlove : Reader is Steve’s best friend and Bucky’s sister, she’s also an avenger. She doesn’t know anything about the Winter Soldier. She and Steve got sent on a mission where she gets face to face with her brother and decides to go after him. When they meet again, he can’t remember her. While she fights the Winter Soldier for the first time, Steve is afraid Bucky might actually kill her.
A/N:Here’s to the first request ! ;) There will be a second part (that I won’t have time to write until may/june). I’ll try to be as quick as possible. For any other request, the ask box is open ;) Hope you’ll enjoy this new story! Enjoy, Jaymes.
Y/N and Steve Rogers had been best friend for as long as they could remember. They had met at a Baseball game, in 1934. It was a July afternoon, her brother was playing on the field. She could still remember how important that game was for him. He was just seventeen. It had taken him several hours to convince his sister to come. That day, she was sitting in the bleachers, next to her brother’s best friend, the man that would change her life. For almost three hours, none of them had talk. Their first conversation consisted on stolen glances and a brief and awkward handshake. Later on, her brother introduced him as Steve Rogers, a frail, small and skinny boy with the widest smile and kindest eyes she had ever seen. She could still remember every second of it, even after a century.
« What are you thinking about ? » She heard someone say behind her.
She turned around, noticing only now the Captain leaning against the door, watching her with a small smile.
« Steve ! » She answered, surprised. « Aren’t you suppose to get ready for the mission ? We’re leaving in less than an hour »
« I was, until I realized I almost forgot the shield » He explained, stepping in the living room where the Avengers were used to spent their free time. « What are you looking at ? »
He sat next to her on the floor, eyeing the files scattered around her.
« Is everything alright, Y/N ? » He asked, worried when he saw the mess.
« Do you remember that day ? » She replied, ignoring his question before handing him the picture she was looking at.
She smiled when she heard him laugh at the faces they made when the photo was taken.
« Vividly » He answered. « I couldn’t say anything without stuttering, you know. I was so intimidated and Bucky spent that entire day making fun of me »
« He did » She sadly admitted. « Wouldn’t shut up about it for a week. You were so embarrassed every time he brought it up, it was funny »
« Y/N … » He warned, his cheeks turning red at the memory.
She laughed, digging into a box to find another picture.
« I remember that » She drearily said. « The Howling Commandos. You guys made quite the team back then »
« Why do you keep looking at those photos, Y/N ? You’re torturing yourself » He worriedly inquired.
She sighed, her hand grabbing instinctively the item she was looking for. Steve frowned, taking the page she was handing to him.
« What … Y/N why are you reading this ? » He asked, his eyes traveling on the paper.
« They refused to show me those records back then. Howard said reading it would make things harder » She admitted. « And you won’t talk to me about him, so I looked into Shield’s files to find the mission report. »
He took her hand in his.
« It was my fault » He whispered in a quiet voice.
« No. You tried to save him. You did everything you could. »
« And it wasn’t enough … So much for being Captain America »
« Nobody’s asking you to be perfect, Steve. You’ve settled the bar so high and forgot you were only human. I never blamed you for that, and you shouldn’t carry that weight on your shoulders » She stopped for a small moment, looking right through his eyes. « I’m sorry you’ve lost so much »
« You did, too » He replied, his voice tainted with emotions.
« Not entirely. My whole word was revolving around you and Bucky. I did lose him, and it hurts as much as it did the day you came back to tell me he died. But I’ve still got you, and I’m doing my best to hang onto that. »
« I never told you how secretly happy I was Erskine made that mistake the day of the experiment »
She playfully punched his arms.
« I was trying to save your life ! I didn’t know I would expose myself and become some kind of super heroine … I certainly didn’t imagine I would end up in the 21st century when I decided to stay on the plane with you when it crashed »
« Another reason to blame me » He responded sadly.
« My god ! You are infuriating, Rogers !»
He softly smiled, not wanting to put up a fight with her. Y/N wasn’t like any other woman he had met. She was strong, independent and that smile of hers could make him do whatever she wanted to, though he would never admit that to her.
« Bucky would’ve been so proud of you » She said after a short while in a quiet voice.
He dropped his head, not wanting to meet her eyes. They knew each other like the back of their hand. He could recognize the freckles on her cheeks by heart, memorized the way her lips twitched when she was nervous, the way she frowned when she tried to figure out technology, the way she shivered every time he was kissing her forehead before going on a mission alone. She was an open book to him, just like he was to her. She didn’t know about the Winter Soldier and he intended to keep it that way. She would be devastated to learn her brother was still alive but very much gone. When he didn’t say anything, she grabbed his shoulders, forcing him to face her.
« If he was still here, he would tell you how silly it is to blame yourself for every single things happening around you »
He snorted, a look of disdain on his features and his eyes still glued on the floor.
« Steve ? » She asked.
He abruptly got up, walking toward the door.
« We should go, the plane’s leaving soon »
« Wait a minute » She answered before he could get out. « What are you not telling me ? »
He sighed, cursing under his breath for being so bad at hiding his emotions.
« Nothing. » He insisted. « I better go get ready »
« You won’t leave this room until you tell me what you are hiding from me »
She crossed her arms, determined.
« Y/N, there’s nothing to say »
« Please, have you seen your face ? You’re allergic to lies, Steve. »
« I’m not … » He started before stopping himself. He knew she was right, he couldn’t tell a lie to save his life. « How about a compromise ? We get this mission done and when we come back, I’ll tell you »
She pursed her eyes, starring at his face as he tried to be impassive.
« That’s also a lie » She told him. « Whatever you’re keeping to yourself, you never planned on sharing it with me. »
« Look, Y/N … »
« I’ll get it out of you eventually » She cut him. « In the meantime, we have other things to do, which gives me enough time to figure out why you would hid something from me. »
He didn’t reply as she gathered all the papers quickly and went to suit up. In less than ten minutes, she was ready for battle, dressed in a blue catsuit Stark had designed specifically for her. Neither she, nor Steve mentioned anything about their previous conversation as the plane took off.
« What’s the plan ? » She asked.
« Guarded Hydra base according to Stark’s record » He explained. « We need their intel. We go in, get it, get out. »
« Hm … What are we looking for exactly ? »
« Any information on the experiment they’ve been doing on humans »
« How’re we gonna do that ? »
« We wait until the plane fly over the base, then jump, get in by the roof, try not to be spot, get the infos on a secure hard drive, get out as soon as possible. No fight, not if we can avoid it »
« Why are we both here then ? This job is more qualified for someone like Natasha »
« She’s on another mission with Barton »
She sighed. She didn’t know why but she had a really bad feeling about this.
« Get ready » The Captain ordered. « We’ll be there in less than five »
She checked her guns and knifes before turning to Steve.
« Okay ? » He inquired.
« Okay. »
They smirked at each other, a hint of joy and mischief in their eyes. The Shield avoided as much as possible sending Steve on missions alone. If they could, Captain America would never be without The Lieutenant. Each of them were remarkable fighter, and once together, they were unbeatable. They were two faces of the same coin. Y/N didn’t need to say anything when he grabbed her hips in one arm and the shield in the other, they had done a hundred missions like this together before. As usual, as Steve jumped in the air, keeping her tightly against him, she closed her eyes. As soon as they got on the ground, they didn’t waste a second. Steve threw his shield, breaking a window, before Y/N jumped, knocking a guard on the landing.
« Tech room ? » She whispered to Steve.
« Left hallway »
They discreetly moved to the location. Not a single noise could be heard, they were both trained to be quick, swift and silent. Steve raised his hand, signaling Y/N to stop walking. She instinctively grabbed her gun, ready to aim. Steve tightened his hold on the shield and picked into the room. They were both surprised and anxious to find it empty.
« One guard » Steve stated. « That’s … »
« Please don’t say ‘too easy’ » Y/N complained, cutting him as she was already stepping in front of the computers.
He tightly smiled at her, not liking the situation one bit. There should have been more guards, they both knew it. He gave her the hard drive and didn’t wait for her to plug it into the computer before going back next to the door, ready to act at any sudden movement.
« Find anything ? » He asked after merely a minute.
« Yup. Several files about ‘enhanced’ something. I’m copying them » She replied.
« You’re getting better with all this technology » He remarked.
« Well, if you spent more time with Stark instead of actually complaining, you would get the hang of it »
He snorted and was about to reply when he heard steps coming closer to them.
« Someone’s there » He told her.
« Go do your Captain stuff and buy me three more minutes, then. » She commanded him.
He couldn’t help the small chuckle that escape him as he ran down the hall, shield ready to be launch at whomever was coming. Y/N kept tapping frankly on the keyboard, working as fast as she could and trying to remember everything Tony had taught her. Not even two minutes had passed when the deafening sound of an alarm started to ring, making the woman jump in surprise. She cursed under her breath, knowing they had now less than a minute to get out before a whole squad of Hydra soldiers get to them.
« Steve, you hear me ? » She asked over her coms.
« Loud and clear » He shouted, his breathing ragged. « I’m … in the middle of … »
He abruptly stopped talking and sounds of struggle and metal clinking could be heard.
« Yeah, figured » She whispered under her breath.
She unplugged the hard drive before rushing to his side.
« You know, when I said to go all Captain America on them, I meant knock them down, not alert the whole damn building we were here » She ironically said over the coms as she ran down the hallway.
He didn’t answer, his breath indicating he was still fighting. When she got to him, the shield was discarded in a corner and Steve was deep in a hand to hand combat with four guards. She whistled loudly, gaining their attention. She ran, grabbed the shield in her race before rotating her body to gain speed and threw it to her friend, knocking the four enemies in the way. None of them had time to say a single thing before more soldiers came to them. Exchanging a glance, they got back to back, each of them covering a side of the hallway.
« Y/N/N ? » He called.
« Hm ? »
« Give them hell »
She smirked as they both started to battle, making Hydra soldiers fall like dominos. The shield was going back and forth, passing from Steve’s hands to Y/N’s. Not once did they need to pause or talk. They were more than a team. Fighting together was a dance; they moved in unison, synchronized. They didn’t need to look at one another, there was a level of understanding between them that made them redoubtable and fearless. Once they were sure all the guards were down, they turned to each other, silently making sure they were both unharmed. Before they could say anything, there was again a loud noise. This time, it wasn’t an alarm. On each side of the large corridor, an enormous metallic wall was going down the ceiling, trapping them in the small space. They tried to run to the nearest exist but were too late. When they heard steps behind them, they both sharply turned. Right in front of them, before the wall could go completely down, a man had forced his way in. Y/N immediately felt Steve tensed and worriedly looked at him when he pushed her behind him, in a protective manner. The stranger looked tall, deadly. His hair were long and dark, and he wore black combat suit. What shocked her the most was his left arm. It seemed to be a weapon, fully made of metal, with only a red star on his shoulder. She couldn’t see his face, he was too far.
« Shit, we need to get out of here » Steve muttered under his breath.
She turned to him, surprised to hearing her best friend swear.
« Who’s that ? » She asked, not knowing herself if she really wanted the answer.
« Stay behind me » He ordered, ignoring her question.
She glanced at his face once more, wondering why he would tell her to stand down when she could help him. She didn’t have the time to ask again as Steve threw his shield at the stranger. Y/N shockingly let out a gasp when the man raised his metal arm, catching the weapon easily before it could reach him.
« What the … » She whispered, not believing what she had just seen.
Steve ran to him and she watched them, stunned for a second. When her friend landed painfully against a wall, she decided to move. She reached for the guns attached to her belt, walking to the soldier and ready to fire. Y/N was a perfect shooter, she never missed a target. The gun was excellently positioned, the line between the bullet and his head absolutely flawless and the hands holding the weapons firmly steady. Nevertheless, as soon as she got close enough, she felt her breath caught in her throat. Everything around her disappeared and her whole body ran cold for a second. She felt the guns slipping out of her hands, landing in a loud thud on the floor.
« James ? » She hesitantly muttered.
The face wasn’t the same, and the hair had changed too. His gaze was empty, almost lifeless. She took a step back, her eyes fixing his. His features were exactly as she remembered. There was still the birthmark they shared, right under his ear and the small scar on his skull she had patched herself many years ago. There was no doubt; that man was her brother. She opened her mouth, wanting to say something, anything, but couldn’t find a word. She felt that same sensation of drowning submerged her, exact replica of her state the day the plane crashed in 1943. Every single strings were breaking and every parcel of her system were shutting down. Here she was, face to face with a ghost. He didn’t move either. Ready to hit back, his posture defensive, he had stopped in his tracks the moment he heard her voice. Something seemed to click inside him. His gaze studying her closely, his eyes were betraying the internal struggle he was facing.
« James ? » She called again, this time louder.
He unconsciously raised his good arm, as if reaching for her. Before she could take a step closer, Steve grabbed her wrist, dragging her forcefully behind his body. This wasn’t suppose to happen, at least not like that. She wasn’t suppose to meet the Winter Soldier. He had done everything he could to avoid breaking her heart and here they were, finally reunited but very much apart.
« Take the shield and break down that door to your left » He ordered, his voice detached from any emotions. Now wasn’t the moment to get involved. First, he needed to get them both out of there, alive. « Now, Y/N! »
She broke out of her trance, mechanically taking the shield before using it to barge into an empty room with large windows. Steve looked closely at James, waiting for him to attack, but he never did. His eyes were constantly following Y/N and his body seemed frozen in place. The Captain, despite his need to help and protect him, knew it wouldn’t be long before the Winter Soldier gained control of his body again. He sadly walked to the room, hurriedly grabbed Y/N by the waist before using the shield to smash a window and jumped through it, landing near the roof. He took Y/N’s hand on his own, both of them running quickly to the plane and trying to be as discreet as possible.
Y/N didn’t say anything as they flew back to the tower, the mission complete and the informations secured. Everything within and around her, suddenly seemed blank and empty. She wasn’t shot or physically harmed but still, the pain was there, flowing in her veins, flooding every single part of her being. Never, in her entire life, had she felt so helpless and betrayed. In another corner of the plane, Steve was watching her closely. She looked like a statue; her face pale, her body unmoving, her gaze unfixed. He felt his heart shattering when he saw a single tear running down her face. He wanted to comfort her, to squeeze her in his arms, ease the pain he knew deep inside he had caused. Instead, he sat, doing his best to stay silent. The last thing Y/N needed right now was a fight.
When the plane finally landed, she didn’t wait for him and practically ran to the facility. She bumped into Natasha on her way, and, before the Black Widow could say anything, disappeared in the lobby, on her way to the commune room of the Avengers. The moment Natasha saw Steve’s face, only a couple seconds after, she didn’t ask him what happened. His face was enough for her to know it was bad. They both walked silently behind Y/N. As they step into the room, they spotted Clint and Sam watching TV, Stark behind a computer and Bruce working on a file
« Hey, Cap and Cap 2 ! » Stark yelled as he saw Y/N and Steve. « Did you get the files ? »
They all questionably raised their head at Steve as they watched Y/N pacing back and forth. She was trying to get her thoughts in order, to find where to begin, how to start.
« Did you all knew ? » She brokenly whispered.
« Knew what, Y/N ? » Clint worriedly asked.
« Don’t play dumb with me, Barton. How many of you knew my brother was alive ?! » She screamed, anger evident in her voice.
Bruce was the first one to react and only got up and went to her, putting his hand on her shoulder.
« Y/N, calm down » He kindly told her.
She brushed his hand off, taking a step back to put some distance between them.
« I won’t calm down until someone explain why … how … how is James alive ?»
« You saw the Winter Soldier ? » Natasha questioned Steve.
« The … ? He’s the Winter Soldier ? Wh … » She turned to Steve. « You better tell me what I need to know, Rogers, or so help me god … »
« Okay, how about no threats and more talking, huh ? » Tony added to ease the tension. « Capsicle, tell her. »
Steve sighed and nodded toward Stark before his attention went back to Y/N.
« You know what happened in 1943 » He started.
« Yes, you’re damn right I do now. You lied to me, that’s what happened ! » She yelled.
« I didn’t. I thought he died too. »
She could tell he was telling the truth.
« Then when did you found out ? »
« Two years ago, when we took down Shield »
« Let him finish » Natasha added when she saw Y/N ready to yell back at Steve.
« When you and I were … frozen … he was alive. All this time he was alive. »
« What happened to him ? » She asked in a small voice.
« He was captured in 1943 and Zola experimented on him » He stopped for a second, fearing her reaction. « He … replaced his arm and wiped his memory. He made him a soldier for Hydra. They used him as a weapon »
She felt her heart being crushed inside her chest and nearly fell on the floor. Sam, who was close to her, led her to a chair. She buried her face in her hands, trying to ease the pain somehow.
« That’s why he didn’t react earlier » She stated mechanically after a minute. «He doesn’t remember who I am »
They all looked at her sadly, wishing there had been a better way for her to find out. Steve walked to her and took her hands in his but she rejected him.
« Y/N … »
She shook her head, getting up and stepped in front of him.
« Two years, Steve » She whispered, wounded by his behavior. « You lied to me»
« I’m sorry »
« No, you’re not »
« Y/N, I know you’re mad, but please listen to me » Steve pleaded her.
« I’m not mad » She said, her eyes filled with tears. « I’m hurt. There’s a tremendous difference »
Steve felt exactly like she had slapped him. He would have preferred to be hit than to hear he was the cause of her pain.
« For two years, you saw me waking up in the middle of the night because of the nightmares of my brother dying, you took me in your arms when I cried, you looked right into my eyes, Steve, and you lied. Not later than this morning … » She stopped, angrily brushing the tears running down her cheeks. « Of all people, I never expected you to break my heart »
« Y/N, please, please, understand I never meant to hurt you, doll » He continued, pleading her to listen to him. « I wanted to protect you ! I thought …»
« You thought wrong » She cut him. « There are things we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn. You remember that, Steven ? … You told me that, right after he died. Tell me, where has that gone ? Did I not deserve to know my brother, my OWN brother, was alive ? You chose to see me suffer in ignorance, you made that decision for me. You all did »
« You’ve got to understand, Y/N … » Sam started
« There’s nothing to understand, Sam » She told him. « You’re all a bunch of liars. I trusted you, all of you. I considered you family and you betrayed me »
« It’s not like that, Y/N, and you know it » Steve intervened.
« Do I ? » She said in a breath. « James means the world to me, you knew that. You grew up with us, saw how close we were, how devastated I was by his death. I can’t believe you would do that to me, Steven ! You gave up on both of us »
He dropped his head, watching her toss the hard drive she had secured the files on, on the table.
« I’m leaving » She abruptly say.
« What do you mean you’re leaving ? » Steve suddenly replied, scarred to know the answer.
« I’m quitting » She sadly told him. « You were the only reason keeping me on this team, so I’m out. No more avengers »
« You’re just going to walk out of that door and give up everything ? Just like that ? »
« Don’t blame me for leaving, Steven ! Blame yourself for not doing the right things to keep me ! You’re suppose to be the leader, suppose to make good decisions. Guess what ? You messed up big time »
« C’mon, Y/N, you can’t make irrational decision like that ! » Stark said.
« At least wait a couple of days before rushing outside and get yourself killed » Natasha added
« I won’t stay another minute here »
« Where do you plan on going ? » Bruce asked
« Wherever my brother is. »
« Y/N, doll, I’m begging you, you can’t do that, you can’t go alone » Steve worriedly spoke.
« I’m sorry, Steve, but now I’m making my own choices. I’m not going to give up on my family. I’ll find the Winter Soldier and if any of you get in my way, I will fight you. »
« Let me come with you ! » Steve nearly screamed before she could walk out of the room.
« You’ve done enough, Captain. I’m on my own now »