The last chapter, my little cupcakes!

I want to thank all of you for sticking with me for 54 chapters! You all get a digital hug and a virtual cookie!

Also, I'll start posting those oneshots later today. It'll be called 'Pieces of Them.' I don't care if it's cheesy. I like it and it's cute-and let's face it, a little cheese never hurt anybody.

~Christianne

PS~ I tried really hard to get the end of this right...hope I did a good job.


Anna POV

Phillips was standing behind a podium, adjusting the papers he'd put there before looking up at the entire SSR. We'd all been called to Washington for a ceremony to honor Steve.

"We're all here to talk about Steve; Captain Rogers." Phillips started. "I could stand up here and tell you about how brave he was—how many people he saved…but I'm not."

Some mummers started in the seats behind me. I was sitting between Howard and Peggy. Howard had one arm over the back of my chair, and Peggy was glaring at anyone who gave me a look that wasn't supportive.

"I'm going to talk about the man Captain Rogers should be standing here telling you about." Phillips said a moment later. My mouth went slack slightly in a soft gasp. "Sargent James Barnes," Phillips clarified. A soft, quiet sob left my mouth and one hand went to my mouth. Peggy reached into my lap and squeezed my hand.

"Sgt. Barnes was drafted in the summer of 1942. He trained at Camp Leigh in New Jersey; met Anna there," Phillips seemed to be going off script, and it was great.

"About a year after he was shipped out, Barnes was captured by HYDRA." That got some people talking. "He, was the reason Captain Rogers went in and got out the men that would later make up the best team I have ever seen."

"He was the best damn sniper I've ever seen," Phillips continued. "And I've seen a lot of snipers. SO have seven other colonels and three generals, all who said the same thing; every future sniper in the Army are gonna be comparing themselves to that boy."

I let out a small, tearful laugh.

"He was decorated too," Phillips continued. "Two Purple Hearts, a Bronze Star, a Silver Star, Legion of Merit and a Distinguished Service Cross." The murmuring grew; no one knew that Bucky was so decorated.

Bucky told me that he didn't feel right about being rewarded for killing people, so that's how I knew he'd be alright with me letting Steve, Jim, Falsworth, Dum-Dum, Gabe and Jacques wear his medals. They had wanted to give them back to me, but I told them to keep them; they deserved them. I didn't want to have an incomplete set.

"He was the type of soldier every man tried to be. He thought about what he was doing; he wasn't in the Army to kill HYDRA. He was in the Army to help people." People weren't even trying to be quiet now. "You know, Barnes talked me into letting a captured HYDRA soldier out. He was 15; Barnes had found his sister…He exposed a whole other side of HYDRA, a side we didn't want to believe existed."

Phillips paused, and looked at me. "Sgt. Barnes didn't get a big ceremony," he said simply. "The whole country didn't know his face, and he didn't have a song written about him; but he had a girl at his side through whatever he came up against. And let me tell you one thing," Phillips leaned forward slightly.

"The toughest girls you'll ever meet, are the ones standing next to soldiers."

Peggy and I shared a glance.

"Anna," Phillips said, making me look at him. "Get on up here."

I just stood there until Howard stood up and offered me a hand.

Once I was behind the podium, I clutched Bucky's dog tags. I blinked out at the two hundred or so people I was in front of.

I opened and closed my mouth a few times, trying to think of something to say. "I, uh, I-I heard, somewhere, that everybody dies twice; when you take in breath for the last time, and when your name is said for the last time…I-I think we owe it to them to make sure they don't die again.


I looked at the address one more time, then looked back at the modest three story brown stone. There were bright flowers under the windows, and a wreath of dried flowers on the front door. I walked up the steps, briefly smoothed my hair and knocked on the door (there was a note taped to the bell that said 'BROKEN!').

There was nothing but some giggling from children. "Just-Just a second!" A woman called, and a moment later the door was flung open.

A woman about my age opened the door. Her thick, wavy dark hair was pulled away from her face, and a set of defined, graceful cheekbones sat under blue eyes. She was wiping her hands on the apron she wore as she looked at me.

"Are you Rebecca Ashford?" I asked.

"Yeah, I am," she still had a friendly smile on her face.

"Formerly Rebecca Holland?" I asked.

Her smile faltered a little, her face becoming slightly confused. "Yes." She said slowly.

"Originally Rebecca Barnes?"

Her smile fell all together and her hand came to rest protectively on the edge of the door. I heard a giggling, and small girl with pin straight chocolate brown hair run into her mother's leg. She was three at the oldest. I smiled down at the little girl; she had the same blue eyes as her mother, and her uncle.

"I'm here about your brother," I told her. Rebecca's face suddenly became concerned.

"Toby?—What's happened?"

"Oh, uh, nothing," I assured her quickly. "This…This is about your other brother."

"I don't have a-" She cut herself off and thought for a second. "Wait—Wait you're here about James, aren't you?"

I smiled as best I could and nodded. "Yeah, yeah, I am. Do you have a few minutes?"

"Yeah, c'mon in." She said, holding the door open for me.

The walls of the entrance hall were a soft yellow, and paired nicely with the dark wood floors and banister.

"Penny, how 'bout you go play, hm? Mommy has to talk to the lady." Rebecca said, kneeling down to her daughter's level. The little girl smiled and started to go up the stairs. I followed Rebecca to the cosy living room. I put my files on the coffee table and linked my hands behind my back, looking at the framed pictures on the wall while Rebecca made us some tea.

"Your husband wasn't drafted?" I blurted out before I could stop myself. I was looking at a picture of Rebecca and her husband (his name was Martin) at a baseball game I knew took place in 1943; Bucky wouldn't shut up about it for weeks.

"No," Rebecca said simply.

"Seems like he'd do better than most," I noted. Martin had to be at least 5'11", broad shouldered, even played baseball (there was a picture of him and his team).

"Yeah, he would'a done fine, I'm sure." Rebecca said, bringing a tray into the living room with her. "Cream?" She asked.

"No, thank you…Just sugar," I said, sitting across from her in a chair.

"So," Rebecca said, handing me a pale green china coffee cup. "You wanted to talk to me about James?"

"Bucky," I said automatically, getting an odd look. "He…He liked to be called Bucky."

Rebecca smiled a little, shaking her head as she poured some cream in her own coffee. Just as she was about to put a spoonful of sugar in her cup, she froze. "Wait—You said he liked to be called Bucky. Past tense."

I slowly looked down at my coffee. My pinky tapped on the cup, and since I couldn't stop it, I put it on the coffee table. I reached for the file.

"He…He was KIA on a mission several weeks ago," I said slowly.

Rebecca nodded slowly, looking down at her own coffee. "Do-Do you have a picture of him?" She asked me.

I nodded, reached into the file and handed her two photos. "There's the 'official' one, there…then there's him."

Rebecca nodded and looked between the pictures. "How'd he die?" She asked softly.

"I'm afraid that's classified." I told her.

"I understand..." She trailed off. "What did he do for the Army?"

"That's classified as well, I can't tell you." I told her. She frowned a little, but nodded.

"I can't tell you about how he was a POW for five months, how he was rescued and offered an honorable discharge and a full pension, or about how he chose to stay in Europe and fight the war within a war that most generals wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole." I said in the same tone as when I told her I couldn't do anything.

She looked up at me mildly shocked. "Shame," she managed to say.

"Yes, it really is," I sighed. "And I certainly can't tell you about how he was one of the most decorated soldiers I've ever met, how he wanted to find you when he got back to Brooklyn, or how he was the best sharpshooter in Europe."

Rebecca nodded, looking at the pictures. "Can-Can I keep these?" She asked, I nodded. I'd made those copies especially for her.

"Did you know him?" She asked me.

I laughed a little, looking down a little. "I-I knew him very well."

"Did he have a family? A wife? Children?" Rebecca pressed, leaning forward slightly.

"No…we didn't have kids." I murmured the last part to myself, but Rebecca heard. She looked at me with a slightly confused look, and I smiled a little as I pulled Bucky's dog tags out of my blouse. "I-I met him when he was at basic training." I explained. I gave her the brief version of Bucky and me, and Rebecca was about to cry when she heard it all.

"I-I'm pretty much the best person to tell you anything you want to know about Bucky Barnes," I said at the end, laughing a little.

"What was he like?" Rebecca asked me.

Such a simple question, really; but not simple to answer.

"He…" I trailed off, and looked down at the dog tags.

I put them on you, and they remind you that first thing when I get back here I take them off you and put them back on.

"He was a hero."