Anna never wanted to be a part of SHIELD. It was all her brother's doing. All she wanted was to help heal people. Technically, she was doing that by helping SHIELD, at least that's what Tony kept telling her. Stark's were known for their quick tongue and ability to use logic to get what they want. Too bad Anna didn't inherit that particular trait, she was too compassionate to try and manipulate people.
Manipulation ended up being key in Stark Industries, so while her brother took over the company from their father, Anna choose to use her genius for medicine. Tony made the weapons, and Anna helped heal the men that used those weapons. Graduating early from Georgetown University in DC, she did her residency at George Washington Hospital, but eventually took a spot as an attending at the VA Medical Center. Her interest and heart lied in helping soldiers rehabilitate from both their physical and mental scars. War was an ugly thing, she learned that at a young age. Anna was lucky enough to participate, and even lead, research on the rehabilitation of soldiers, including topics such as PTSD and prosthetics. She was perfectly happy with her job at the VA. Not that that stopped Tony from asking her the biggest favor he'd ever asked of her: helping to heal the agents of SHIELD after missions.
Being a Stark, Anna had a stubborn side, and she dug her heals down in that conversation. In the end Tony won, as he always did, but at least she walked away with the assurance that her work for SHIELD would only be part time. It turned out, in Tony's book as well as SHIELD's, 'part time' meant on call to them 24 hours a day. Anna learned that the hard way when she was contacted several times in the middle of the night.
"I've just ended a 30 hour shift at the VA, you're interrupting some much needed sleep. This better be important." Anna muttered into the phone. She had let it go to the machine the first time, hoping it would deter them, but she should have known better. They simply called right back.
"Dr. Stark, it's the Captain's team. They've returned from an air raid mission, we need you to help clean them up." The Agent on the other line dove right in, not even stating his name. If that hadn't been the way these calls always went down, Anna might have suspected it was a prank call from her brother.
"I'll be there in twenty." Anna hung up after that and immediately began throwing on the first pieces of clothing she came across. That happened to be the running clothes she had set out two days ago in the hopes of hitting the running trails. It was a vain hope, as she ended up taking over the night shift for a colleague, and 30 hours later the last thing she felt like doing was running.
Normally, in protest of being woken up at odd hours, Anna would take her time in getting to the SHIELD facility. However, it was Steve's team this time. Steve had been the first person at SHIELD to actually treat Anna as a human being, and not a robot who was at their beck and call to fix every little scratch an agent received. He was sweet, and charming, and had manners instilled in him that people in the world nowadays lacked. It wasn't long until Anna regarded Steve as a friend.
Of course, Tony didn't approve one iota when he found out the Cap and his sister actually talked about things other than his health and SHIELD. The Cap was, after all, seventy something years older than Anna, and when it came to his baby sister Tony could get a bit protective. It wasn't until after a very embarrassing sit down talk between Tony and Steve took place that Tony finally got off Anna's back about him. Apparently he hadn't trusted Anna's word, and needed Steve's assurances that he was 'friend-zoned.' A term which Anna had to explain to Steve afterwards, only adding to her embarrassment.
It only took Anna 10 minutes to get to SHIELD's building. Traffic was practically non-existent at two in the morning, even in the city. The building was eerily quiet as Anna made her way to the elevator, announcing to the computer that she was heading to the infirmary. It was about the only place she had clearance to go. Drumming her fingers against the glass, it seemed to take forever until the elevator finally stopped in the basement of the complex. SHIELD's infirmary had to be the most depressing place Anna had ever seen. With black walls and no windows, even the operating rooms at the VA looked more cheerful. She understood why the infirmary was in the basement, safety protocol and all, she just wished they'd make it look a little less like a bunker.
Two agents were waiting for Anna outside the elevator as soon as the doors dinged open. Without a word to her, they began walking down the hall, expecting her to follow. Rolling her eyes, Anna fell in step behind them, knowing the drill. In times of medical emergencies SHIELD had all its agents ignore the doctor while she fixed their collateral. The two agents stopped abruptly outside one of the closed doors, signaling it as Anna's destination. Refraining from another eye roll, Anna opened the door to find a half dozen hospital beds, each with an agent forced to sit there until she checked out their vitals and any possible injuries.
"I'd really appreciate it if you'd schedule your little missions during normal waking hours Steve," Anna commented as she came to stand before the Captain with her hands on her hips. As was their routine, he gave her a truthfully apologetic smile before reminding her he had no control over when the bad guys did bad things.
"Well, as usual, your injuries seemed to have mostly healed themselves before I got here. I'd recommend getting some rest, but I know you won't listen." Signing off on Steve's chart, Anna moved to the next bed reluctantly. Agent Rumlow occupied the next cot, and Anna really wasn't in the mood to deal with his borderline chauvinistic attitude on such little sleep. When he predictably commented on her attire, specifically her yoga pants, Anna showed a lot of restraint by just gritting her teeth. It was as Anna was tending to Rumlow's cuts and scrapes that Natasha came to stand beside Steve, who hadn't left his bed even though he had been cleared.
"I don't think you're supposed to leave your bed until Anna signs off on your papers," Steve commented, trying to distract the assassin beside him. He knew that look in Natasha's eyes well enough to know she was going to start a topic of conversation he wasn't going to like.
"Why don't you ask Anna out? She's cute, and she wouldn't go rouge fan girl on you if you did." As Steve had anticipated, Natasha did pick a conversation he was quite tired of. He thought it might have ended with the rescue mission, but there she was, starting it up again.
"Anna and I are friend-zoned," Steve explained, trying and failing at using the word Anna had had to explain to him, in the correct context. It was just such an odd term. What was wrong with just saying friends?
"Just when I think you're starting to fit in this time period, you go and say something like that," Natasha murmured, before stalking forward to interrupt Rumlow's attempt at chatting up Anna. His injuries had already been tended to, and Natasha really didn't want to stay in the infirmary any longer than she had to.
Rumlow didn't appreciate the interruption, and when he gave up his cot to Natasha, it was begrudgingly. There was a moment when he debated waiting for Anna to finish up with the team, but then he noticed the Captain was still there waiting as well. Feeling a surge of animosity towards the old war 'hero' Rumlow stalked out of the infirmary, cursing the fact that of all the SHIELD Agents Anna could befriend, she chose the Cap.
"You didn't have to wait for me," Anna addressed Steve after she had cleared the last agent; leaving just the two of them in the eerily dark and empty infirmary.
"I never have to, I want to. I need someone to talk to after these things, and you need an escort home." Anna would normally, jokingly, declare that it wasn't the 50's and she was perfectly capable of getting herself home, but that would be tactless considering who she was talking to. Steve was robbed his chance of experiencing the 50's and every decade since. Besides, it was his old school manners that made him different than the other agents, as well as one of the few agents she could tolerate spending extended periods of times with.
Of course, accepting a ride anywhere from Steve meant being forced to ride behind him on his godforsaken motorcycle. The thing didn't even come with a helmet, because Captain America didn't need one. If his quick reflexes ever failed him, he would most likely survive the crash without a helmet. Anna, however, would not. Which was how she ended up with a death grip around Steve's torso and his Captain America helmet covering her head, as well as most of her face as it was several sizes too big for her.
"I hate that thing," Anna murmured once they were parked in front of her building. Being the gentleman that he was, Steve insisted on walking her to her apartment. Though Anna had a feeling, tonight, it wasn't just because of manners. Steve had mentioned he needed to talk to someone, and surprisingly the Cap hadn't made too many friends since his introduction to the 21st century. That was why, even though she was exhausted and just wanted to collapse in her bed, Anna invited Steve in for a cup of coffee.
"I need some advice." Steve started talking once they were seated at Anna's small kitchen table. Taking a sip of caffeine to help boost her brainpower so she might process whatever Steve was going to ask, and give him the advice he deserved, Anna simply nodded her head for him to continue. "What would you do if you found out someone you had trusted lied to you?"
"Is this one of those hypothetical questions that is really about yourself and you don't want to admit it until you hear my answer?" Anna asked suspiciously. Too many times had that exact situation confronted itself, it made her a bit weary.
"No, I actually found out that someone lied to me." Steve answered, his brows pulling together in confusion. "You think I would lie?"
"No, but if you ever did start lying, it'd be fair warning to take cover because the world would be about to end." Anna joked, covering for her mistrust earlier. She should have remembered this was Steve she was talking to: Captain America, the world's golden boy. "Who's lying to you?"
"My team, probably on orders from Director Fury." The idea that anyone from SHIELD would lie to Steve didn't completely shock Anna. SHIELD was a spy agency, and spies were known for lying and keeping secrets. It was in the job description. Steve, on the other hand, was a hero, not a spy. He wasn't used to lying or being lied to, and finding out that someone had would most likely eat him up inside until he dealt with it.
"Then you should confront Fury, call him out on his lie. If you don't call him out, it will only reinforce the behavior." Anna doubted if Steve confronting Fury would stop him from lying to Steve altogether in the future, but it would probably force him to offer up a truth to Steve to prove he could still be trusted. Steve needed that, a reason to trust in someone, to believe in something. It's what kept him going, pushing past the stress of living in a time he wasn't meant to live in.
It seemed Steve had accepted her advice, as conversation turned away from anything dealing with SHIELD. Steve mentioned meeting a Sam Wilson the other day, an ex-soldier who worked down at the VA. Anna knew him, he had started leading group sessions for other soldiers who had returned from tours overseas. He was a good guy, and he really helped those he worked with. Sometimes, in order to rehabilitate, soldiers needed to talk with someone who had been where they'd been, seen the things that they'd seen. It was a conclusion she'd come to while researching PTSD as a resident.
Steve and Anna talked well into the early morning. Time had slipped away from Anna, and she had only just realized it when Steve mentioned it was probably time he leave. At quarter till 7, Anna didn't have enough time to even consider going back to her bed. Resigned to the fact that she would be getting no sleep, she made her way to her shower in hopes that the warm water mixed with the coffee in her bloodstream would help keep her awake and alert during her next shift.
It was her day to run the clinic, where veterans could come without an appointment when they needed medical attention. Those veterans who were left homeless were the most common visitors to the clinic, and it broke Anna's heart to hear their stories. Most of the physicians at the VA hated having to work in the clinic, deeming it a waste of their skills. Anna didn't mind, oftentimes she felt she touched more lives in the clinic than when making rounds on the floors.
"I'm going to prescribe you an antibiotic ointment for that cut, I don't want it getting infected." Anna told the man before her. He was one of the clinic's regulars, always getting in scraps on the street that required stitching or antibiotics. "Why don't you get yourself some lunch in the cafeteria after you pick that up," Anna offered, handing the man one of her prepaid cards for the VA cafeteria along with the prescription. The cards weren't useful anywhere else, so Anna would hand them out to the soldiers who looked like they needed a better meal than what the soup kitchens of DC could provide.
"Thank's Doc," the soldier smiled, taking her up on her offer. That was why he only came in when Anna was working the clinic. She actually cared about people like him;she made him feel like he wasn't a waste of space for a little while.
"Anna there's someone asking for you in the waiting room," one of the nurses poked her head in the room just as the soldier was leaving. After signing off on her note, Anna handed the tablet used for clinic patients to the nurse, a little curious as to who would visit her at the VA. When she turned the corner to the waiting room, she saw the last person she expected to.
"Rumlow? What are you doing here?" No one from SHIELD had ever come to her place of work, not even Steve. If they needed her while she was on duty, they'd just call.
"Fury's hurt. There's been an accident. We need you to come right away." Rumlow rushed out, trying to get Anna out of there as quickly as possible.
"What do you mean an accident, what kind of accident?" Anna asked, utterly confused and disoriented with a SHIELD agent standing in her waiting room. The idea of her two worlds colliding had never occurred to Anna before. She hadn't prepared for something like this. Rumlow didn't say anything in response, he simply pointed to the TV in the corner of the room whose subtitles were relaying the huge care chase that resulted in multiple accidents strewn down the middle of downtown DC.
"Oh my God," Anna murmured as she took in the damage flashing across the screen. "Let me just get my bag from the locker room." Before Rumlow could protest that there wasn't time, Anna took of down the hall. The locker room was only a few doors down the hall from the clinic, and as soon as she got to her locker Anna stuffed her street clothes and personal affects into the small backpack she brought to work every day. When she exited the locker room, Rumlow was waiting for her. Before he forced her out the door, Anna signed out of the clinic and quickly paged a resident to cover for her.
There was a car waiting for them outside the VA, the standard black SUV with blacked out windows. Anna didn't think anything of it as Rumlow ushered her into the back, taking the seat beside her. It wasn't until six blocks later, that Anna started getting suspicious. They were headed in the opposite direction of SHIELD headquarters. Slowly, Anna reached out her hand until it gripped around the door handle. Attempting to open proved she wasn't being paranoid, the child locks were on, preventing anyone in the back seat from leaving. Anna knew for a fact SHIELD never used the child locks, it prevented a quick escape from the vehicle if need be.
"What's really going on?" Anna asked, turning towards Rumlow. "Where are you taking me?"
"You're being recruited." Rumlow answered. Before Anna could say anything else he had her hands cuffed and was pulling a black sac over her he. She screamed and writhed in protest, but it didn't do any good. "I'm truly sorry Anna. You're needed for something more important than SHIELD. I promise, no harm will come to you."
Rumlow was sorry that it had to go down like that. But it was the only way to ensure Anna stayed out of the crossfire to come. Pierce had wanted her for her medical expertise, to help Hydra's soldiers who were wounded in action. More importantly, he wanted her help with the Winter Soldier. They had plenty of mechanics to help fix his verbanium arm when he came back from missions. What they needed was a doctor who was used to seeing the fall out of battle and knew how to fix flesh injuries properly. Besides, their last doctor had ended up strangled by the Winter Soldier, so they were a little desperate at the moment.
If Anna could punch Rumlow, she wouldn't even hesitate. Kidnapping her was one thing, but restraining her arms and covering her head as though she was being driven to her execution was another. Once her anger at the situation and her stupidity for not seeing the warning signs fizzled out, the anxiety took over. Anna had to work hard not to hyperventilate and pass out. If she was being kidnapped, she wanted to be conscious so she could fight back whenever possible. Unfortunately for her, hyperventilating with a bag over your head leads to oxygen supply depleting faster and she passed out before the car reached its destination.
The next time she regained consciousness, it was as Rumlow was carrying her through unfamiliar halls. At least they had removed the bag from her head. After a moment of getting her bearings, she insisted she be put down. Reluctantly, Rumlow set her on her feet and allowed her to follow him on her own. There was a second where she contemplated running, but the soldiers behind her and her lack of knowledge of the layout of the building quickly eliminated that possibility in her mind.
"Dr. Stark, welcome to Hydra's current control center," A cold voice greeted them when they reached the end of the hall.
"Pierce?" Fury's boss was working for Hydra? Hydra was the organization they wanted her to help? But why? Why were SHIELD agents turning their back on the agency that had always stood for good and truth? "How deep does the treachery run?"
"My dear, I was always with Hydra. It's called being a double agent." To Anna's surprise Pierce actually answered her, well sort of. Anna had no idea how many of SHIELDs operatives worked for Hydra, but she had a sinking feeling it was more than just the few she had recognized as SHIELD thus far.
"And what does Hydra want from me?" Anna wasn't an agent, she didn't know anything about SHIELD save for the names of the agents she treated. She was a clearance 0. She needed an agent to vouch for her just to get in the door depending on who was working reception.
"We recently lost a doctor. You're his replacement." Pierce shrugged, using the same desensitized tone as before. It had Anna wondering if by 'lost' they meant the guy had died. If doctors were really so disposable with Hydra, Anna wasn't sure she wanted to help. Not that she had a choice in the matter. She could refuse to help and get killed, or she could help and possible die from the hazards of the job. It was a lose-lose situation. "Let me show you to your first priority patient."
Once again Anna was following agents further into the labyrinth of halls that made up whatever building they were in. With all the marble and stone, Anna guessed it was some historically significant building. Newer buildings didn't have the same amount of detail. When they came to stop outside of what seemed like the entrance to a vault, Anna peered through to see who she would be expected to treat, only to have the shock of her life. He looked different than the pictures, his hair was longer and he had a full prosthetic left arm that was made of a metal unfamiliar to Anna at first glance.
"Bucky," Anna barely managed to whisper as she stared at the man's face. He wasn't looking at her. His eyes were coldly staring down the wall across from him. He seemed unaware of the people peering in at him through the bars of his cage. "How is Bucky here, alive? He died seventy years ago on an active mission with the Howling Comandoes." Anna turned her wide eyes behind her, without really focusing on Rumlow's and Pierce's stony expressions.
"You didn't tell me she knew his real identity," Pierce snapped at Rumlow, not happy at all that their new doctor could ruin their perfect weapon by reminding him of memories he'd rather the soldier forget.
"Seriously? Not only is his picture all over the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Steve's told me about him about a thousand times. You must not have intelligent recon people working for Hydra if you couldn't have figured that out," Anna muttered, immediately regretting it when Pierce turned his glare on her. This was definitely not the time for her Stark snarky side to crop up. She was especially regretting it when Pierce pulled a 22 and placed the mug of the gun against her forehead.
"If you so much as breathe a word to him about his identity, or Steve, I will not hesitate to kill you." At Pierce's word's, Rumlow cleared his throat, bringing Pierce back to their deal: Rumlow would retrieve Anna only at Pierce's word that she wouldn't be harmed. It had Pierce lowering his weapon. "Bucky no longer exists. He's the Winter Soldier now." Pierce clarified before holstering his gun and walking away from Anna and Rumlow. He'd leave Rumlow to deal with introducing the doctor to her patient. There were things he had to get in order before the Soldier's next mission.
A/N: Hey everyone. So this is my first dive into the Marvel Universe. I've seen both Captain America: The First Avenger, and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Between both of those films I fell in love with Bucky's character and became inspired to start this story. Please, let me know what you think of the idea. I'm obsessed with this story plot, but I want to see what others think.