Disclaimer: I own nothing.
June 2, 2012 – St. Petersburg, Russia
Russia was the same as how her memories made it out to be. Except, this time, Darcy wasn't a fresh-faced eighteen-year-old from Brooklyn. No, this time she was a kick-ass assassin-honorary Avenger that was dating – read engaged to – Captain fucking America.
She refused to cringe as she walked down the street with Natasha by her side, willing the memories to come back without flooding her mind with everything she was scared of.
The memories of Steve and Bucky were the ones she welcomed back with open arms, never afraid of her life with them. But Russia was a different story all together.
"Stop thinking so much, myshka."
Darcy peered at Natasha, sighing when she saw the other woman meant business. "We have to meet Jane in an hour."
"HYDRA has the symposium on their radar." At Darcy's shocked look, the redhead elaborated. "It's a symposium for possible space travel. Dr. Foster is known for her work on the Einstein-Rosen Bridge. HYDRA would be remiss not to observe."
"I don't have a good feeling about this."
June 3, 2012 – Washington, D.C.
Steve was not thrilled with his accommodations. Even less so with the blonde neighbor that kept trying to find reasons to knock on his door (sugar, really).
Apparently her name was Kate. Which, by how many times she chose to say it, seemed like she was trying to convince herself of it rather than him. He knew that she'd seen Darcy's photo – the one from the Valkyrie – sitting on the mantle above his fireplace, yet she'd glossed over it in favor of other photos.
Like ones he'd drawn and framed.
"Wow, you're an artist, huh? I've got to say, that one of the Manhattan skyline is beautiful – "
"Brooklyn skyline." Steve had been quick to correct her. He hated being rude, but he had no patience for this.
She quirked her mouth at him. "Brooklyn boy, huh? Strong and a little crass…I can see it."
And Steve hoped that she never saw it ever again. Blondes were definitely not his type. Loud mouthed, curvy brunettes on the other hand…
He hated sitting by the phone, waiting for Darcy or Clint or Natasha to call him. It wasn't like him to idly sit by while others did the dirty work. He was a man of action that was reduced to waiting.
Thank whatever God existed that he had Darcy's Netflix password.
June 4, 2012 – Moscow, Russia
As soon as the first gunshot rang out, Darcy and Natasha were pulling weapons from their person while shoving Jane into a corner.
"Security detail's down," Natasha said to her com after switching it on, pleased when Darcy did the same. "Stark, we need an extraction point. Now."
Darcy handed Jane a small handgun, ignoring the small woman's look of indignation. "Get to the bathroom and lock yourself in there. Don't come out until me or Talia come for you."
"Short stack, you okay? Your tracker's going haywire."
She bristled at Tony's voice through the com and fired a few rounds towards a figure in black heading towards the hallway of the venue.
It was exactly what HYDRA would want. At least a thousand people running for their lives in a theatre venue that was much too small, in Darcy's opinion anyway. It was like shooting fish in a barrel. A barrel that only Natasha and herself were defending.
"Everything's fine, Tony," she replied, watching as Natasha herded the crowd of civilians to the stairwell. "Talia said that HYDRA had been scouting, but I'm not sure – "
" – no, wait, there it is."
Men in black tactical suits propelled from the ceiling, the glass from the windows crashing to the ground around her. Raising her gun, she shot with deadly accuracy, grinning in grim satisfaction when half a dozen men fell hard to the floor. The redhead effectively picked off the remaining few, thoroughly concerned that so little men had been dispatched to deal with a symposium of this size.
"JARVIS is looking for local feed," Tony buzzed in her ear. "I've called SHIELD for backup."
Darcy felt something weird in her gut. It was the same feeling that hadn't gone away since landing. "Something's wrong," she said, mostly to herself. Holstering her gun, she reached for the blade strapped to her thigh underneath her short dress. Before she could grip it, however, another gunshot whizzed through the air, hitting Natasha in the thigh. "Talia!" She didn't think as she flung the blade towards the direction the bullet had come from.
A man stood across the wrecked amphitheatre, a mask covering his face. A gun was held in his right hand and the low light glinted off the metal of his left arm. He was armed to the teeth – blades and guns were strapped to every bit of his body, including her blade held in his free hand.
Darcy had thought that if she was ever in such a situation that she'd be paralyzed by fear, but the fear wouldn't come.
Something was familiar.
"Net, ya s toboy."
The man in black took a step forward, dropping her blade on the floor carelessly. She was transfixed as she watched him remove the top part of his mask, revealing grey-blue eyes that had her moving forward, too, without her permission.
Pain blossomed in her hip and she didn't realize what had happened until her knees slammed into the unforgiving tile of the floor. Her hand smoothed against the stained silk of her dress, coming back sticky with her blood.
The man that had shot her was quickly disposed of by the man in black, his neck bent at an unnatural angle.
She blurrily noticed that Natasha was back on her feet, heading towards the man. It didn't take long for the redhead to sink her own blade into his shoulder, struggling to latch on to him before he threw her aside.
Darcy's gasp caused the man to falter in his approach as memories filled her mind's eye.
Darcy growled to herself as she turned on her heel and started back to the corner store. A squeal of surprise tore from her as she was yanked backwards, falling on her bottom in the process.
"What in th' world." She cursed as she stood up, brushing the dust off of her trousers and trying to find her hat that had somehow fallen off.
"I saw the light – "
"What's th' matter with you?" She asked the boy that stood directly behind her, her hat in his hand. "Am I not allowed to cross the street?"
"I saw the light change. Didn't want ya to get run over."
Her eyes closed, tears threateningly near.
Bucky nudged the head of his cock along her slit, circling her clit before he set it against her small opening. Her breath hitched as he slowly sunk into her, his body falling forward and catching himself on his right hand next to her head.
Small hands smoothed their way up his ribs and around his back as her thighs cradled his hips, pulling him even deeper.
The metal, the Red Room, the missions…
She pulled back, looking at him with wide eyes. "Please. Please."
It was easy to get themselves out of the clothes they were wearing. It was easy for him to slide her panties down her legs and clutch at her hips like it was a dance they'd done a million times before.
She swung her leg over his lap and felt him fill her to the hilt, causing her to let out a breathy sigh that had him flipping her onto her back and slamming his cock inside her with all his strength.
Her release crested against her and she whimpered out a small, "James."
It wasn't smart for her to try to stand, but she did it anyway, thankful that she only stumbled a little. Her right hand was plastered to her hip, staunching the blood flow as she reached out to him with her left hand.
"Myshka – "
"James," she said softly, watching as his eyes shifted. His hair was longer, his face scruffy, and his body…it wasn't much different than the Bucky…the Soldat she remembered. She remembered. "Bucky…"
He looked at her with slanted eyes, a cocky snark on his lips. "Who the hell's Bucky?"
"The Winter Soldier is a ghost story, myshka. I didn't think they were the same person!"
Tasing the second love of her life had not been at the top of her to-do list. Just as it wasn't on said list to get shot.
Darcy rolled her eyes and dug the tweezers into her hip to remove the bullet, grimacing when blood coated her hand.
"He's…strapped in though, right?" Jane asked from the other side of the quinjet. She'd grumbled about the symposium being ruined for the past few hours and Darcy couldn't find it in herself to comfort her.
Of course, Darcy was also trying not to freak the fuck out from having James Buchanan Barnes three feet in front of her passed the fuck out.
How the fuck was she going to explain this to Steve?
Natasha set the jet to autopilot and swung out from behind the controls. She smacked Darcy's hands away from her wound and tended to it herself, already having stitched up her own thigh.
"And you're sure it's him?" The redhead asked quietly as she pulled the needle through the shallow part of the cut.
Darcy nodded, gritting her teeth. "I'd know him, Talia. I'd know him anywhere. But, he hesitated when he was coming after me, didn't he? And he fucking broke the asshole's neck that shot me. I didn't imagine that, right?" At Natasha's head shake, she continued. "What if he remembers me, too? What if – "
"He couldn't remember his own name, myshka," she said softly as she finished her stitching. "He was trained the same way you were with little contact after the initial conditioning. It's possible that he remembers something, but it's very unlikely that he'll be the Bucky you remember just as you'll never be the Darcy that Steve remembers."
Ouch. That hurt.
But it wasn't like Natasha was wrong.
"Are you going to call Steve?" Jane asked, her expression a little less upset.
The brunette thought about it for a moment. It was a slippery slope when she was left alone to her own devices and as of right now only two other people knew that Bucky had been recovered.
"JARVIS, can you have the Hulk's room cleared?"
"Of course, Ms. Lewis."
Natasha cocked her head at her. "What are you planning?"
Darcy cut away what was left of her dress in favor of the leggings and sweater she'd brought in her bug out bag. Twisting her hair on top of her head with a flourish, she said, "I want to make sure that there's still some part of Bucky still in there. It'll do no good to have Steve see him when he doesn't remember. This way…" she took a deep breath. "This way, if it goes sour, I'm the only one that knows."
"You're not alone," the redhead replied.
She gripped Natasha's hand and nodded. "I've got you."
Perhaps trying to move a sleeping assassin was a bad idea. Especially when he wasn't really sleeping.
"JARVIS! Lock down the tower. Now!"
Darcy heard the telltale snick of the lock behind her and the accompanying slams of Natasha's fists on the metal that had slid shut.
At least they'd had the foresight to disarm him, but she didn't think he'd have a problem ripping her throat out with his metal arm. As it stood, Darcy only had one small blade strapped to the underside of her forearm underneath her chunky sweater, having left all the guns and unnecessary blades in the jet.
Bucky's eyes were wild as his back hit the other door that had closed nearly ten feet away from her. She could tell that he was looking for an escape, anything to get out, but they were locked down tight. No window, nothing to break. There was about six feet of steel and one foot of fleshy human between him and his way out.
"Bucky, it's okay," she tried soothingly, watching how his eyes snapped to hers.
"Vy yavlyayetes' aktivom."
"Yes, I'm an asset. I was an asset. That's not me anymore."
He glared at her. "Ty vresh'."
"I'm not lying." She took a few steps towards him, being sure not to spook him anymore than he already was. "Your name is Bucky Barnes. You were born in Brooklyn, New York." She sniffled for just a second before she added, "And you loved me."
"Lyubov' k detyam," he sneered, taking a step towards her.
"It is not!" She screeched, surprised with herself. The Red Room had ingrained many things on her, but that particular sentiment was not one of them. It made her blood boil to think that HYDRA had taken that from him. Taken her from him. "Love is not for children, James Buchanan Barnes! You loved me. You loved me with all you had! You joined a goddamn war to save me! You and Steve are all I have left and I'll be damned if HYDRA is going to take you away from me!"
Darcy wasn't sure what propelled her forward, but one second she was on her feet and the next she was slamming Bucky's head against the cool metal of the joining door, ignoring the sickening smack it made. He managed to stumble for just a second before he grabbed her by her hips and threw her across the tight space, intent on coming after her.
"I don't know who the fuck Bucky or James is, suka, but that won't matter when I'm through with you."
She watched as he stood ramrod straight, his teeth snapping together with an audible clack.
Fuck. This was a lot worse than she thought.
"Darcy!" Natasha's hands hit the metal ineffectively and she swore. Whirling around, she barked at Jane, "Stay in the jet!"
"Romanoff, why's JARVIS on lockdown? Why the fuck is he not listening to me?"
The redhead rolled her eyes, wondering why she hadn't switched off the com. "We have a problem, Stark. We brought home a straggler and Darcy thought it would be smart to lock him up in Bruce's containment unit."
There was a pause before, "And I'm guessing this straggler isn't a cute puppy? Of course not. You people never do anything half-assed. Is he in the – "
"Darcy currently has him closed off between the entrance and debrief room. He's…Stark, he's part of HYDRA like she was. We have to get her out of there."
"Cap's on his way and Legolas is stuck in the vents." There was a rustling sound and then Tony's voice turned tinny. "And I'll come blast my way through."
Natasha growled, "What do you mean? You called Steve?"
"I figured he'd want to know – "
She swore a blue streak in Russian, resisting the urge to grab the pistols on her hips. It became a mantra not to shoot Iron Man when he made it up to the roof. She eyed the door, strategically wondering how much leverage it would take to bring it down.
"No use, Romanoff. Reinforced steel. Needs a little more than a few bullets." Tony landed beside her as he fired up his repulsors and took off once more.
"Where's Darcy? Is everything okay?"
The last thing the redhead needed was a frantic partner. Steve Rogers was not subtle in his concern and she'd be willing to wager that he was almost to Manhattan. Tramping down on her urge to switch off the com, she replied, "She's been compromised. Stark's working on it."
"Darcy locked down the tower. I'm…stuck in a vent."
Natasha rolled her eyes. "Stark and I are on it, Barton. Stay put."
"Where the hell would I go?"
Darcy hit the ground hard, sure that her arm was, at the very least, dislocated. The taste of iron clung to her mouth and she grimaced as she tried to stand.
"This isn't you, Bucky," she said weakly, cradling her arm to her chest.
"Stop! You're…you're just another test!"
He lashed out and twisted her arm behind her back with his metal hand while his flesh one tugged her hair back so hard that her back arched. His hand closed around one of her bracelets and she had single-minded determination to get away from him as fast as she could.
"Soldat! Stopp!" She squirmed, kicking her legs back when she heard a small click.
The steel around her wrist grave way and he stilled behind her.
"I saw the light," he murmured, sounding dumbfounded. "I saw the light…"
Darcy could feel wetness in her eyes. The pain in her shoulder was nothing compared to the pain that blossomed in her chest. "Bucky…James…please."
"D…Darcy? What…oh, lord."
The metal hallway shook before there was a gaping hole opened where the door used to be. The familiar glint of red and gold burst through and Darcy ducked on instinct. She didn't have a chance to squeal before Bucky was throwing his body over her protectively, not meaning to bounce her head off the metal of the ground.
Something was yanked off of her before it all went black.
"Don't touch her!"
"Back down, Soldat."
The brunet lunged forward, trying to get to the archer that had his girl in his arms. His girl.
Clint looked up and held Darcy tighter against his chest, a feral look coming across his face as he noticed blood dripping from her temple.
Getting out of the vent had been hell. Nearly enough to never venture through them again, but he knew that was an empty promise. Despite the lockdown, he'd managed to rig one of his explosive arrows in just the right way to blow a vent cover off to get to his…to get to Darcy.
Seeing her with a goddamn man built like a fucking house on top of her had done little to dull his protective instincts. Even less so when Natasha started speaking Russian to him.
Tony snarked, "Calm down, nesting doll. Clint's probably the only man here that Cap wouldn't rip limb from limb for touching her."
Clint spotted Darcy's taser clipped to the redhead's belt and said, "Tase him if you have to. I'm getting her up to medical before stars and stripes arrives."
The man visibly calmed down and nodded sharply. "She probably has a concussion. Her left arm is definitely dislocated – "
"Where's her bracelet?"
Natasha's head snapped to Clint, watching how his fingers traced her words reverently. She grit her teeth and managed to grind out, "Get her to medical. Now, Barton."
"What in the fuck," Tony wondered aloud as the archer hurried away with an armful of curvy brunette.
"I have it."
The redhead turned and noticed his eyes shifting unsteadily. His fists clenched and unclenched, nearly breaking the small band of steel.
A Russian curse fell from her lips as she tased him.
"Can bodies stop hitting the floor, please?" Tony whined. "Search and rescue, not maim and kill."
"Is there a difference?"
"I saw the light…"
Clint stared at the words dumbly. That definitely hadn't been what he had said to her when she'd found him. Sure, he'd thought she was an angel, but he had been young and…
He shook his head, running his fingers over them once more. It wasn't really a conscious decision when he unwrapped a few band aids and made a makeshift bracelet around her wrist. She didn't like her words being on display. And somehow he just knew that man had managed to get the bracelet off…
He didn't want to think about the implications of what that meant.
And, truth be told, he was getting tired of being in hospital rooms.
It wasn't hard to hear the commotion in the med bay. It was clearly Steve using his 'captain voice' to get what he wanted as fast as possible. It was irritating, really.
The door to her room opened and closed; Clint didn't even have to bother to turn his head.
"How is she?"
"Well, despite having her head slammed against almost every flat surface, being shot in the hip, and getting her shoulder dislocated, I'd say she's just peachy," the archer deadpanned.
Steve flipped back the thin hospital blanket and hiked her gown up just enough to see the bullet wound. His fingers were gentle as he probed it, satisfied that it was healing correctly. He valiantly ignored the way Clint blushed at the sight of her naked hip.
"Did the doctor tell you anything?"
"Why would they – "
The blond sighed and scratched the back of his neck awkwardly. "I know you're listed as her next of kin," he said quietly. "I…I get it, y'know? You took care of her when I didn't even know she existed."
Clint swallowed noisily. "She means a lot to me, Cap."
"Call me Steve," he said automatically before he gave a small smile. "I'm starting to understand it. There's this…bond between the two of you that rivals friendship and – I don't mean to make you uncomfortable."
"It's not that. Darcy…she raised me when I was a scrawny kid on the run in Iowa. She's my girl, but – "
"You were her boy first," Steve nodded, recalling Natasha's words. "I get it. I'm…sorry for being jealous about it. She needs a good friend like you."
Clint's memories took him on a tour of his childhood. Darcy finding him. Taking him in. Running around at the circus and helping her out of her costumes…
A sharp smack to the back of his head called him back to reality.
"Think about her naked again and all bets are off."
June 6, 2012 – Manhattan, New York – Stark Tower
One door, two possible exits.
Suspended glass room – reinforced glass.
The Asset's arm whirled as it recalibrated, intent on breaking through.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you."
His head jerked up and he noticed a man standing in front of what he assumed was the door. His hair was dark and he had facial hair unlike the Asset had seen before.
"Darcy would kill me if something happened to you, even if it was your own fault."
"I want him to love me like you love me."
Bucky smiled, resting his forehead against hers. "Ya think I love ya?" His voice rumbled, low and sure.
"I know ya do."
His mouth was on hers as the last word slipped out of her mouth. Teeth clashed together and a moan built in the back of her throat. Her fingers tangled in his hair and secured his mouth to hers.
It was messy and needy and just what she wanted.
"Goddamn, baby," he panted, barely pulling away from her. "You're as sweet as they fuckin' come."
"Hello? Red October, do you read me?"
"Who are you?"
The man blinked. "That's probably the first time I've ever heard that question. Most people just, like, know." He stepped forward, faltering a bit when he realized he couldn't hold out his hand in greeting. "Name's Stark. Tony Stark. Genius, playboy, philan – "
"Stark? As in Howard Stark?"
"Rude." Stark rolled his eyes. "Always overshadowed by that man, but yes. I assume you're part of Darcy's little harem she's got going. First Capsicle, then Barton…"
"Where's Darcy?" His mind cleared a little as he thought of his girl. Wasn't she going to medical? "Is she okay?"
"She hasn't woken up yet, but the docs said that it wasn't too surprising in her case. You bounced her head off of anything you could find, you know. She's lucky that the serum is still working after the shit she's been through."
"I need to see her – "
"Do you even know who you are?"
He wracked his mind, trying to recall. He could remember Darcy clear as day as if she were imprinted on his skin, his soul. And someone blond. Small, weaker… but Darcy was a warrior. She was magnificent and he'd broken her like a doll.
"James Buchanan Barnes, ya stop that right now!" Darcy hissed, stomping her foot to get her point across. "I've gone on everythin' you've asked me to, now it's Stevie's turn to pick."
He swallowed. "My name is James…James Buchanan Barnes. I…me and Darcy – "
"Sergeant James Barnes, actually," Stark said, making the glass slide up for a second as he tossed a file in before it closed. "Part of the one-oh-seventh regiment out of New York. One of the founders of the Howling Commandos. Awarded the Purple Heart and other things." He paused and watched as the other man flipped through the file. "One hell of a soldier."
"Killed in action on – "
"Obviously, that was incorrect."
It didn't make sense. His memories were scattered, unraveling. But it was like Darcy was the key. The one thing that made sense. And he had to get to her.
"I told you my name," Bucky said gruffly, his blue eyes focused on the metal floor. "Can I see Darcy now?"
"Sir, Captain Rogers is requesting your presence in the medical bay."
"Thanks, JARVIS," Stark said distractedly. An idea bloomed in his head and he smirked. "I don't think I can bring you to see her, but what if I can bring a video?"
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