A/N: Thank you for reading this story! I love Bucky and Sebastian Stan is the perfect guy to play him. I'm looking forward to the Falcon and Winter Soldier series
Two days later Danielle was returned to D.C. and held for interrogation in a cell in the building she had first met Fury and Maria Hill. No one had been in to see her in the twenty-four hours she had been held captive. Danielle didn't expect anyone would be allowed to visit a disappointment to her boss and a traitor to their country. She wasn't dressed in an orange jumpsuit, but she was wearing the SHIELD equivalent.
The door to her cell opened to reveal Steve dressed in his casual civilian clothes. Someone closed the door behind him, leaving them alone in her cell.
Steve didn't say anything for a long while.
Danielle sat up a little on her bed. "Welcome to my room. It has all the amenities a girl could want and a nice view of the hallway when they leave the window open."
Steve sighed. "Danielle, I'm so sorry. I didn't know they would put you in here."
"It's okay, Steve. Fury has to find out what happened to make sure I haven't turned against the United States. He'll never understand what really happened though." Danielle stared at the ground.
"What did happen?" Steve moved to sit beside her on the bed.
Danielle shook her head. "I don't know, Steve. I had a plan to capture him and bring him back, but the moment I met him I knew there was something more. I couldn't turn him in because I didn't feel like he deserved to be held captive by another organization."
"I understand." Steve said, placing his hand on her knee. "Do you know where he was going?"
"He didn't tell me. He just locked me to the railing and ran away." Danielle's eyes began to water. "Why did he leave me?"
Steve put his arm around her shoulders. "I don't know, Danielle."
"I loved him, Steve." Danielle held onto to Steve, trying to find comfort in his large form.
"He was trying to keep you safe. That doesn't mean he doesn't love you." Steve replied. He rubbed his hand up and down her back to reassure her that he was there for her.
"I'm going after him," Steve said. "Sam and I have been tracking him for a few weeks now. We thought he was in Deva before he called himself in. I didn't know you were there until I found you on the catwalk, then Fury told me about your mission. I'm sorry you had to do that on your own."
Danielle wiped her eyes. "I'm sorry I didn't tell you. Fury didn't want you to know, but I shouldn't have kept that from you."
"It's okay. I understand why you didn't tell me. Fury didn't want me involved and that's his choice, but now I'm making my own choices." Steve squeezed her shoulders.
Danielle pulled away from him to look him in the eye. "I want to go with you."
"No, Danielle. You need to rest and reevaluate what you want to do from here. I will let you know when I track him down." Steve said.
"The moment you find him let me know because I have a right fist with his name on it." Danielle replied.
Steve chuckled as he stood from the bed. "I promise. The moment I find him he's all yours."
"It was good to see you, Steve." Danielle said.
"Good bye, Danielle." Steve knocked on the door to be let out of the cell, leaving Danielle by herself once again.
What she didn't tell Steve was that she planned on tracking James herself once she was released from her holding cell. She found him once and she would find him again.
Later that day, Danielle was given her clothes and personal items and told to dress before she was released. When she was done, an agent escorted her out of the building to an awaiting car. The driver in the car handed her a tablet. As soon as she touched the screen, a message began scrolling telling her why she was being released.
She knew it was a message from Fury.
SHIELD has disbanded as far as the U.S. government is concerned. You are officially unemployed, but you are not an enemy of the state. Unofficially, you still have a job with the remainder of SHIELD agents left in service. Take some time off and when you're ready to work give me a call.
The driver handed Danielle a piece of paper with a phone number written on it and took back the tablet. Silently, he drove Danielle to her house and dropped her off in front of her house. She used the extra key under her potted plant, a dead and dried up fern, to enter the house that she hadn't seen for nearly four months.
Danielle didn't worry about taking a shower, or changing clothes, or cleaning her house. She went straight to her notes on James and began scanning the information she had gathered before she had left. The new information she had learned from being with him for two months added much needed perspective on his traveling habits. Danielle was sure she would track him down. It was only a matter of time.
FOURTEEN MONTHS LATER
Bucky exited the car and after being bumped by Sam, began to walk to the edge of the overpass. He was beginning to think clearly after hitting his head against the glass of the helicopter. He remembered Steve, one hundred pounds of righteousness standing five feet two inches tall, wanting so badly to go war to fight for his country. He remembered falling from the train and being found by HYDRA in the snow.
Now he was being chased by half of the Avengers, the King of Wakanda, and most of the countries in the United Nations for something he didn't do. Steve and Sam were the only ones trying to help him clear his name and even Sam was questioning how innocent Bucky was.
The long ride in the backseat of the small car had left his muscles tight and his shoulders tense. Steve and Sam were talking in hushed tones near the car, leaving Bucky to wander the underside of the overpass without listening to Sam's concerns on the plan Steve was forming.
He was about to walk out from under the overpass when he heard the click of the gun. "Freeze." A voice said.
Bucky didn't face his opponent, but he recognized the voice. "You caught up."
"You thought I wouldn't?"
"I know better than to underestimate you, Danielle." Bucky turned to face her.
"Good," said Danielle. "Now, get on your knees and put your hands on your head." She kept the gun pointed steady at his chest.
"Are you arresting me?" He asked.
"I'm taking you in. You're dangerous." Danielle stated, plainly.
"You don't believe that." Bucky took a step toward her.
"Stop! Don't come any closer."
"You're not going to shoot me, Dani." He stepped again.
"I will if I have to," she returned. Danielle watched him carefully, hoping she wouldn't have to pull the trigger.
Bucky stopped his advance and stared at Danielle. She was in a good defensive stance, reminiscent of the positions he taught her when they were together.
But he was faster. He saw his opening and took it.
With a swipe of his metal hand, he grabbed the gun from her hand. He released the clip, letting it fall to the ground.
"I'm faster than—" Bucky was cut off by a right hook to his jaw.
"You're getting slow, old man." Danielle retorted.
Bucky nodded his head as he tossed the gun away from them. He faced her again right as she swung her fist at his face a second time. Once again, Bucky was struck. Danielle went to swing again, but Bucky was ready. He blocked her arm and hit his open palm into her gut making her stumble back. Danielle recovered and attacked him, wasting no time.
She threw two jabs that he dodged easily before she swiped at his legs and he jumped to avoid her. Back on her feet, Danielle landed a punch to his ribs. Bucky blocked her kick and trapped her arm when she tried to punch him again.
"Easy, doll." Bucky smirked, causing Danielle to pull against him. He trapped her other arm, forcing her against him.
"Let go of me." Danielle said through gritted teeth.
"Not until you listen to me." He replied.
She stopped her struggle and looked up at him.
"You know I didn't kill those people. I haven't been that person in a long time." He looked her in the eye, pleading for her to understand that he didn't bomb the UN.
Danielle tilted her head. "So, it was Bucky Barnes who crashed that helicopter not the Winter Soldier?"
Bucky sighed. "No. The Winter Soldier did that, but I couldn't control it."
"And that doesn't make you a threat?"
"I didn't say that," Bucky glared at her. "When did you start acting like one of them?"
"I am one of them." She snapped.
"No, you're not. You were never one of them. You never treated me like a threat until right now. What happened to you, Dani?" He questioned.
"You left me! You chained me to the railing and you ran away. That's what happened to me, James." Danielle felt the hot tears building in her eyes.
Bucky stared at her until her words finally sank in. He released her and took a few steps back. "I'm sorry."
Danielle watched him process what she had said. His back was relaxed, his eyes were clear, and his face looked pained by the actions committed in his name. This was James. Her James. Not the Winter Soldier.
"You need to stop this, James. Before more people get hurt." She said.
"I'm trying to stop it. Steve and I are going after the man that did it."
Danielle sighed in frustration. "Damn you, James Buchanan Barnes."
"What?" Bucky questioned.
"The moment I think I can move past what happened is the moment you choose to reel me back in." Danielle complained, with hands on her hips.
"I'm not trying to make you do anything." Bucky reached a hand toward her but stopped short from touching her.
"Except let you go." She closed her eyes to gain her composure.
"Because I have to stop Zemo." Bucky countered, taking a slight step toward her.
"You always have an excuse." Danielle rolled her eyes.
"It's not an excuse." Bucky tried to keep his temper in check.
"Maybe not, but I will not be reprimanded again because you thought something was more important than—" She stopped herself.
Bucky furrowed his brow. "Than what?"
"Nothing," Danielle said. "I have to take you in, James."
"You think I left because you weren't important to me?" He asked.
When she didn't answer he continued. "That's not what happened. I left because I was putting you in danger."
"Forget it." Danielle shook her head.
"Danielle, you were the most important thing to me. You still are." He closed the distance and pulled her in to kiss her. His arms snaked around her back, pressing her to his chest.
She didn't react at first but found herself melting into him. She wrapped her arms around his neck, eliminating any space left between them.
The moment ended when Bucky heard Steve call his name from the other side of the overpass. He kissed her one more time then leaned back. He started to say something, but Danielle cut him off.
"Don't say it." Danielle warned.
"Say what?" He asked.
"Don't say that you have to go, or duty calls, or whatever you were about to say." Danielle smiled slightly at him.
"Then I'll say this instead. I never wanted to leave you. Those weeks with you were the best I've spent in a long time." He brushed a stray hair back from her face. "I love you, Danielle."
"I love you, too, James." Danielle huffed in amusement. "Now, get out of here before Steve comes looking for you."
"You're just letting me go?" Bucky asked.
Danielle released her hold on him and backed away. "I found you once. I can find you again."
"It won't be easy." Bucky acknowledged.
"I wouldn't have it any other way." Danielle smirked as she backed away.
Bucky smiled. "Stay out of trouble, Dani."
"No promises, Barnes." Danielle winked at him before disappearing into the shadows of the overpass.
Bucky heard footsteps behind him and he turned around to see Steve.
"Everything okay, Buck?" Steve asked.
"Yeah. I'm okay." Bucky began walking back to the car. "Ready to go?"
"I'm ready for this to be over." Steve answered.
"Me too." Bucky sighed heavily as they made their way back to the car.