Wait for me
P A I R I N G: Bucky Barnes x reader (also Steve Rogers x reader in a sibling bond)
M O V I E / FRANCHISE: Captain America / Avengers
W A R N I N G S: Slight torture, Sadness, Violence, Death mention
R E A D E R’ S POWERS: Large black wings
R E Q U E S T: Anon ↠ in which the Winter Soldier remembers the girl that kept him calm when he was with Hydra and asks Steve to help rescue her. She turns out to be something more than Steve expected.
L I S T E N TO: Not about Angels by Birdy & War of Hearts by Ruelle
W O R D COUNT: 4297 (not edited)
N O T E: Idk I just like Marvel (as you can tell :)) Also, this is an AU where the Civil War never happened; Bucky became part of the Avengers, and Tony just doesn’t like him very much. If you squint, there’s also some Stucky in this oneshot.
*Italics = flashbacks
As James Buchanan Barnes sat on the plush fabric of Steve Roger’s couch, he recalled a memory.
However, this memory was different than the ones he remembered from his childhood.
Instead, it was one from when he was still a the Winter Soldier. No matter how many memory wipes he went through, he would never forget these kinds of memories. When he was still with them. Bucky cannot even bring himself to say the name of the wretched organization that kept him captive for so many years. The organization that forced him to kill hundreds of innocent people.
Shaking his head, he tried not to shiver at the thought of Hydra. Instead, he delved into the memory of this girl that kept reappearing in his memories.
The previous silence was broken when a small voice broke through his thoughts.
“James?” The voice was soft and feminine, clearly recognizable to Bucky. There was only one person in this world that called him James.
When the long haired male glanced up at the women who had spoken, he was stunned into silence. This hadn’t been the first time Bucky could not speak at the sight of you. In fact, almost every time he looked at you, he was awed at your beauty. Even when you told him that you had no idea why he looked at you like that because you did not believe you were beautiful, Bucky disagreed. He thought you were the sun on a cloudy day, or the moon in a dark night full of stars. He often called you an ‘angel sent from Heaven.’ The nickname always caused you to chuckle because not only were you his light, you had been experimented on and given a pair of large black wings.
The wings extended ten feet on either side of you, often making it difficult for you to fit through doors and in rooms. Hydra, the organization who had given you the wings, had made sure that all the ceilings of their bases were tall enough to fit you in them. This was the only generous thing that they had ever done for you, although you would never call it generous.
Even though Bucky seemed to love the wings that you had, you hated them. You thought that they were a curse more than a blessing. Being given a giant pair of black wings made you look more like a demon than any angel. After telling Bucky this, he had cradled you in his arms and shushed you softly. He spoke reassuring words about how the color of your wings would never determine whether you were an angel or a devil. Bucky told you would always be an angel to him because your heart was far too giving and kind to be a devil. He told you about the things you did for him every day; the words convincing you that there was no way that you could be a devil if Bucky loved you that much.
Back in the present, Bucky was about to be sent out on a mission. Hydra was preparing to wipe him so that he would comply more with their tasks.
“Hey, doll,” Bucky whispered. His voice rarely rose above a whisper, as he was afraid that Hydra and their scientists would hear him.
You smiled softly at him and brought your hand up to his cheek. Stroking his cheek softly, you lowered yourself to your knees. Bucky had been sitting in a chair so in order to make him more comfortable, you dropped to your knees. This enabled you to make eyes contact with him without him having to look up at you.
Bucky returned the soft smile, and your own grin stretched even wider at the sight of it. Seeing Bucky smile was one of the only things keeping you going in the horrid place.
You dropped your head to look down at your dirt covered jeans, upset because Bucky would have to go through immense amounts of pain and risk his life for people who did not even care about his health.
Bucky reached out with his right hand, his flesh hand, and grasped your chin between his fingers. His grip was soft, as he always feared that he would hurt you. This was the same reason he refused to touch you with his metal arm.
Bucky knew why they had sent you. It was the same reason they always sent you. Hydra never let you see him unless he needed prepping for a mission.
“Another mission?” Bucky questioned in his deep voice. It was rough after not speaking for such a long time.
You nodded sadly and Bucky pulled you closer to him. He dropped off his chair to kneel beside you on the floor. He wrapped his arms around you, being careful not to hurt your wings. He held one hand at your waist, and the other rested behind your head, stroking your hair with his strong fingers.
He hummed a soft song in Russian, a language that you both knew well. Bucky’s song seemed to calm the both of you, causing you to reach out and run your fingers through his long, ungroomed hair.
Bucky nudged your arm with his chin, a sign that he liked what you were doing. You chuckled softly and pressed a small kiss to his forehead before the both of you stood.
Letting go of Bucky before he left for each swipe was the hardest thing that you had to go through. Knowing that he was about to experience extreme pain, you lowered your head and let tears well in your eyes.
Bucky, sensing your sadness, softly grabbed your hand in his and squeezed it.
“Wait for me?” He questioned as he placed his forehead on yours. You reached up and gently grasped his face between your hands. He responded by holding your waist, you having to reach for his left arm and wrapping it around yourself.
“Always,” You responded. The words were spoken every time he left on a mission. They were your only reassurance that you would be there for each other when he got back.
Reluctantly letting go of your body, Bucky walked out of the room and into the hallway, being followed by five armed guards.
You watched him until he was no longer in sight, not knowing that it was the last time you would ever see him.
The mission that Bucky was sent on, was the last one he would be assigned to. After Hydra supposedly collapsed and he saved Steve from drowning, Bucky fled. He felt insanely guilty that he couldn’t go back for you, but he knew that you would have told him to stay away. You had always wanted what was best for him and you often urged him to find a way to escape. Now that he finally had, he knew that you would have told him to leave you behind and stay as far away from Hydra as possible.
Bucky continued to sit on the couch of Steve’s room in the Avengers facility, wondering what had happened to you. Were you still with Hydra? Or did you manage to get out after you realized that he wasn’t coming back?
Thinking about you sitting in that cold, metal room by yourself made his heart ache. He could not imagine the pain you went through when you realized that he was not coming back. You must have been broken.
Bucky shook of the thoughts and instead thought about how he could find you.
There was a chance that Hydra had killed you the moment they knew Bucky was gone, but Bucky refused to believe that.
So his only logical explanation was that you were trapped there. Probably in a prison cell where you could not find a way to contact him.
Bucky became angered at the thought of you sitting in a cold cell with no bed or food.
Standing up, he left the living area in search of Steve. Surely Steve would help him; if he didn’t Bucky was out of options. He didn’t really trust anyone else in the tower except maybe Sam, but Sam was still a bit unsure of Bucky since he did almost kill him a few times.
Bucky found Steve in the kitchen, eating a slice of pizza and watching the TV that had been placed on the wall opposite him.
Steve looked up at his longtime friend when he sat beside him.
“Hey, Buck,” He started when he saw the tears in Bucky’s eyes, “What’s wrong?” Steve wrapped a strong, muscular arm around Bucky’s shoulders, attempting to comfort his friend.
Bucky looked up at Steve and rubbed his eyes furiously, trying to stop himself from crying.
“I need your help,” Bucky whispered as he looked down at the counter in front of him.
Steve’s eyebrows furrowed together slightly, “With what?”
Bucky’s eyes move back up to Steve’s before he choked out his request, “Invading a Hydra base.”
Steve’s eyes widened dramatically, and he gawked in shock at his friend, “What?”
Bucky nodded dejectedly, and looked back down at the counter in front of him.
The blonde male at Bucky’s side shook of his surprise and forced Bucky to look at him, ‘I thought they all fell when we got you back?”
Bucky shook his head, “They did, just not this one.”
Once again, Steve’s eyebrows furrowed and Bucky had to hold himself back from chuckling, “This base is a secret to almost everyone. Not even most of the agents that work for Hydra know about it.”
“Then how do you know about it?” Steve questioned.
Bucky looked down at his hands, letting memories overwhelm him, “Because I was kept there.”
Steve shook his head in disbelief, “Siberia?”
The long haired male let his head turn to face the blonde individual, “No.” He said the words with a small chuckle, “That’s just where the kept me in cryofreeze. When I was awake, they kept me in a base forty miles out of Moscow. It’s in the middle of nowhere.”
Steve looked down at his half-eaten pizza as he made the decision in his head, “Why do you even want to go there, Buck?”
“Because I know that she’s still there.”
It had been two weeks.
Two weeks since you’d last seen James.
After the first week, you had convinced yourself that this mission was just taking longer than the others usually did. You knew that he did not get killed, he was far too skilled for that. You also knew that he couldn’t have left because he had promised to come back for you. If he was going to escape, he would have told you. He would have tried to get you out too.
After the second week, you knew something had happened.
You sat in the middle of the room with your legs crossed. Seeing as Hydra would not provide you with a bed, you often just sat in the middle of the room and waited for a guard to open your door and tell you that the Winter Soldier was back.
Moments later, a guard was raising the latch that kept your room locked tight. You immediately scrambled up to your feet and took a few steps towards the door. Expecting to hear good news about James, you got a close to the door as possible, wanting to hear about him.
The guard stepped into the room with two devices in his hands.
One was a harness for your wings, and the other was a device that was placed over your mouth and silenced your voice.
You began backing away from the door, knowing that the guard was not here to tell you about Bucky.
Retreating to the far corner of the room, you extended your wings to their full length. They barely fit in the room, but you managed to get them to fit.
The guard took a step forward and held the devices up, “Miss, you need to come with me.”
Shaking your head, you shrunk back into the corner, “No, tell me where James is.”
The tall man just chuckled and took another threatening step towards you, “It seems your precious James has found his way out of Hydra.”
Dropping your mouth in shock, you stopped moving.
He had made it out; Bucky had finally escaped Hydra grasp. After being stuck with you in this horrible place, he was free.
Even though you were feeling ecstatic that Bucky had made it out, you were also feeling saddened.
Bucky had gotten out without you.
That meant you became useless to Hydra.
It meant that they were either going to kill you or keep you locked away for the rest of your poor life.
Trying to move further into the wall behind you, you shook your head, “No, don’t please.”
The guard chuckled again, a menacing and cruel sound, “Nuh-uh, Sweetheart. You know what that means.”
Before you could make a move to try and escape, the guard had lunged forward, devices in hand, and strapped the voice-cancelling one over your mouth. You couldn’t even get out a scream. The device pulled over your top lip, successfully covering your entire mouth.
Letting out a silent sob, tears dripped down your face with no sign of stopping. You struggled in the guard’s arms, trying to get out before he placed the uncomfortable and restricting device over your wings. The harness folded your large wings down against your back and kept them there with no way of stretching themselves out. It caused bones in your fragile wings to snap and become painfully uncomfortable.
However, you were not strong enough to overcome the Hydra soldier. After all, he was trained to be able to take down men three times your size.
He pulled the device mercilessly, tightening it so that you let out a silent scream of pain when bones snapped.
Not a single sound escaped the contraption over your lips, causing your throat to be scratched dry at the lack of vocal projection.
When the guard finally had enough of your struggling, he grabbed the butt of his gun and slammed it against the back of your head. The impact caused you to fall unconscious and your last thought was of the man you loved.
The next day, Steve had managed to convince Sam, Natasha, Wanda, and Pietro to come along to the Hydra base. He had told them about the girl that Bucky wanted to protect, and about how you were the one who had convinced him to get out.
The four agreed quickly, feeling guilty for one of the last prisoners of Hydra.
Sam felt that he should help Steve and Bucky, as he always had, but he also felt bad about Hydra keeping an innocent girl in their grasp, even after the fall of almost their entire organization.
Natasha, who was one of Steve’s best friends, knew she had to help because she knew what you were going through. She had been kept in the Red Room for most of her life, so she knew the pain that you must have been enduring.
Wanda had agreed the minute she caught hold of Bucky’s thoughts; she had seen the pain that both you and Bucky underwent almost everyday. She saw the last memory that Bucky had of you, and she saw the sadness and guilt that Bucky was going through because of it. It had taken her less than a second to agree.
Pietro was only going because of Wanda, to be completely honest. However, he did know what it was like to be held captive by the monstrous organization, so he did feel bad for you.
Hours later, the jet had landed forty miles out of Moscow, just as Bucky had instructed. Yet, there was nothing in sight, just endless snow.
Bucky was the first to leave the jet, trekking out into the snow with a hard look on his face. He was getting you back no matter what. He did not care about the weather or the location, nor did he care about the number of soldiers and weapons that this base would have; he was purely focused on finding you and killing anyone who had ever even thought about harming you.
Meanwhile, in a freezing underground room, you were once again huddled into the corner. Because you were not provided with a bed or any clothing or blankets besides what you had on, you were freezing; bordering on hypothermic. However, Hydra did not care. They had no use for you so they did not care if you were dead or alive. One a day, at twelve o’clock noon exactly, a soldier would stop by your room and drop a tray containing one measly slice of stale bread and a cup with barely enough water to wash it down. They guard would take the tray back after you fell asleep.
Although, you did not get much sleep anymore.
Shivering violently, you pulled your short sleeve shirt with holes in the back, fitted for your wings, closer around your body. You did not even feel the pain in your wings anymore, as they probably healed in the broken way that they were in because of the harness. If you ever made it out of this base, you would have to break your wings once again just to let them heal properly. The contraption over your face was still there, making it a at least six months since you had last spoken to another human. Or just spoken at all.
Your cold and aching body jerked when you heard a gunshot ring out from outside your room.
And then, it seemed as there were hundreds of guns going off outside your door.
Shivering back inside your arms, you softly let tears drip from your face. This was it.
This was how you die.
You had always thought that one day when you were old and wrinkly, surrounded by your family - your husband, your siblings, your children, your grandchildren, and so many more - then you would die. That was the way you wanted it to happen.
I guess not everyone had a happily ever after.
Minutes into your silent sobs, the gunshots stopped.
No more rounds being fired, no more sound.
Before you could take your head out of your hands, you heard the latch of your door being turned. You tighten your grip on your knees and buried your head back deeper into your arms, and prayed that the guard would have mercy and make your death quick.
But your death never came.
There was never the sound of a gunshot
Instead, all you heard was the sounds of the door finally swinging open and boots scuffing against the floor as they approached you. You did not look up at the person until you were able to catch a glimpse of boots in front of your body.
Carefully lifting your tear stricken face from your arms, you watched as the tense body in front of you relaxed slightly. He was muscular and strong; his muscles bulging in the solid black outfit he wore. When your eyes reached his shoulders, you began to recognize the frame of the man.
The moment your eyes locked on his long hair and deep blue eyes, you burst into tears.
“Doll?” Bucky questioned, not believing his eyes. He didn’t believe it was you at first; your sunken-in frame from not eating enough and the long, uncut and mangled hair. However, the moment he saw your broken wings, he knew it was you.
Reaching down slowly, he pulled the device covering your mouth, away from your face. The second it was gone, a sob escaped your lips, dry and rough from not speaking for such a long period of time. You gazed up at Buck’s face, not believing it was him. He came back. He came back for you. Continuing to let tears fall from your eyes, you spoke softly in a voice that hurt when the sounds erupted from your vocal cords, “James?”
Bucky nodded frantically, tears falling from his own eyes as he watched your broke form, “It’s me, doll. It’s me.”
You eyes crinkled and softened as more tears fell, and Bucky finally reached out. He grabbed you by the waist, softly and carefully to make sure that he did’nt hurt you or your misshapen wings. He sat on the cold floor beneath him, and pulled your small body into his lap. It had been so long that Bucky had held you like this, the note causing Bucky to cling onto you even tighter. Both his arms were wrapped around your waist, and he did not even care if he was touching you with his metal arm anymore. He was whimpering under his breath, similar sounds escaping your own mouth.
You were clinging onto Bucky just as tight; your arms wrapped around his torso, with one hand buried in his hair as it used to. You buried your face in his shoulder and he buried his in your neck. He placed small kisses along the thin bridge of your collarbone, his wet lips sending messages of comfort throughout your body.
When you pulled your head out of his shoulder, you connected your lips for the first time in so long.
Bucky responded with just as much sadness, his lips frantically pressing against yours as if he thought that you would disappear from in front of him. He continued to lock his lips with yours, only pulling away to whisper small words of comfort and reassurance. His lips conveyed so much; the longing for you, the pain of leaving you behind, the guilt for not making it to you sooner. So many things from just locked lips.
When he pulled away, he whispered brokenly, “I love you. I love you so much.”
You nodded and whispered back in your rough broken voice, “I love you too, James. So much.”
He pulled you back into a hug, his hands unfastening your harness at the same time. When he finally got it off, he yanked the material away from your broken wings and gasped when they did not extend to their full length. Then he noticed their disfigured shape and realized that they had healed in their previous position. He looked pained, and told you that once they got back to the facility, they would fix your wings immediately.
When Bucky finally pulled you up to your feet, keeping his arm around your waist as he knew that you had not stood in a long time, you took a look behind him.
And then stopped.
Another man stood behind Bucky; a man you recognized from your memories.
Hydra had wiped you along with Bucky, but not as often. This meant that you had remembered a lot of your past, so you knew that you had known Bucky from before this whole mess. However the man behind Bucky, you knew just as much.
His blonde hair and recognizable muscles coupled with his soft eyes that you could never forget. This man was Steve Rogers.
This man was your brother.
You took a step out of Bucky’s hold, shakily walking towards the blonde man before you stood directly in front of him.
“Steve?” You shakily spoke.
When Steve finally looked at you directly, his jaw dropped.
His baby sister was alive.
He spoke your name with his own tears in his eyes before collapsing. He dropped to his knees and grabbed you by the waist, pulling your body into his. He clung to you just as Bucky did, maybe even tighter at that. His tears stained your shirt, but you did not care. You simply wrapped your arms around his shoulders and squeezed his body. His face buried in your stomach before he pulled away to look up at you.
“How-how is this-” He stuttered out, “How is this possible? I remember you going out to find Bucky’s body, and the rescue team coming back and telling me that they didn’t find you. You were pronounced dead!”
You sighed and looked back at the man you loved, “I found Bucky, but I ended up getting captured just like him.” Your words shook with fear as you did not want to recall the horrible things that had happened to you after Hydra had taken you. “They gave me these wings and kept me in cryofreeze whenever Bucky was in cryofreeze. I was the only thing that kept him calm during mission reports and such, so they decided to keep me here,” It took you a few minutes to get through the explanation, as you had begun to cry during it, but you managed to make your way through it.
Steve stood up and looked to Bucky, nodding him closer. Then the two super soldiers embraced you at the same time, their strong arms making you feel safe for the first time in almost seventy years. All three of you were crying once again, but they were not sad tears. Instead they were happy tears because the three of you were finally reunited once again.
Looking over your shoulder, Steve watched as Wanda hugged Pietro close to him. She was happy that she still had her brother, just as you finally had yours.
Natasha had her arm on Sam’s shoulder, the two nodding at Steve, who nodded back in thanks.
Steve looked back down at you, smiling giddily, before he raised his head to look at Bucky who was smiling just the same.
Bucky looked down at you before whispering, “You waited for me?”
You looked up at him with a goofy smile, “Always, James.”