AN: Welcome to another beginning. Just wanted to start off by stating my undying love for the Weapon X character group and most importantly X23. So it was only natural that I'd write her in with the beloved Avengers. Plus X23 was just officially confirmed for wolverine 3 so the timing is perfect. However, I will state this right now, I'm not a comic nerd. I wish to god that I was but I just don't have the time and/or money. However, I am a research nerd especially when it comes to Marvel, so all of my knowledge of X23 is coming from online research.
Obviously I'm using an older version of X23 than the one in the "Logan" trailer. And there is other things from X23's canon past that I'm ignoring but that's not important at the moment.
This story takes place a couple of months after the events of Captain America 2: TWS and changes the plot after that point so we aren't heading for Avengers 2: AOU or Captain America 3: CW, Mostly because my heart canny take it! :'(
Chapter 1- Warmth in Winter
The mission file had been memorized so the asset was somewhat confused as to why it was currently being escorted through the base. The Asset didn't think this was the way to transport but it wasn't completely sure.
All it knew was that the target was Fernando Luiz Acosta, a drug lord whose currently location was Belem, Brazil. His exact address was detailed in the file but the Asset decided to store that info for its arrival in South America. It's Mission: eliminate.
The Asset's attention focused onto the grey corridor its Handler was leading it down. Agent Kaprov was a tall man who got down to business. His job was to give it missions when it was activated. The Asset matched Agent Kaprov's pace as they thundered down the cold corridor.
It was always cold in Home Base which always made The Asset feel…Something. Its attention returned to the corridor ahead as its Handler turned a corner into another particularly empty corridor. Home Base was mostly unpopulated so only a handful of Agents were stationed in the compound. Which is why The Asset actually felt cautious when its vision landed on two unknowns stand directly in the Handler's path.
One, a rather old man with a salt and pepper beard and bald head, was most likely an on-sight Doctor. If his white lab coat and brown trousers hadn't given it away then the name badge clipped onto his shirt pocket confirmed that this was indeed a doctor of some kind. However it was the second person who set the Asset on edge.
Her very presence was like some kind of warning which was strange due to how short she was. Almost every observation it made suggested that this girl wasn't a threat. She looked to be about 3 inches shorter than the Asset and appeared to be young around 17 or 18 years old. The Asset's thought halted as the Handler did.
The two stood 3 feet from the Doctor and girl. "Солдат, это жилье для следующих 2 недель. Вы доложит здесь по возвращении, понял?(Soldier, this is accommodation for next 2 weeks. You will report back here upon return, understood?)" Agent Kaprov's expression remained stoic as he engaged the Asset in conversation.
The Asset nodded firmly,"Да сэр (Yes, sir)". The Asset's eyes snapped to the door it stood closes to it, memorizing it. It made a note to memorize the route from transport to the door. It had begun to become anxious as it wondered when the Doctor or girl would speak.
"Agent Kaprov" The Doctor addressed its Handler, his lips tugging upward. "Она очищается для выполнения обязанностей(She is cleared for duty)".
"хорошо(Good)" Kaprov's eyes went to the girl and the Asset's followed. Its Handler smirked, "Солдат встретить X23, она будет сопровождать на миссии Акоста (Soldier meet X23, she will accompany on the Acosta Mission)". No explanation was given and the Asset knew better than to ask for one.
The Asset appraised the girl, X23, again wondering how capable she was. Her arms were slim but clenching fists revealed muscles hidden under porcelain skin. Black hair was cut just above her shoulders for practicality but her clothes left her stomach and arms exposed and unprotected. Overall her appearance was underwhelming but then the Asset locked eyes with her. Her face was emotionless and cold but in her sharp green eyes was anger. A rage, like none it had seen before, simmered inside her and her eyes were the window to the show.
"X23 вы только для поражения противника, если вы (X23 you are only to engage the enemy if you are instructed to.)" The Handler's voice was cold as he ordered the woman and the Asset watched as her fists clenched almost unnoticeably. " Эта миссия припой, вы повторно подкреплений, Понял?(This mission is The Solder's, you are re-enforcements, Understood?"
The piercing green eyes sparked with electricity as her jaw clenched. "Да сэр(Yes, sir)" she echoes back, her Russian flawless which startles the Asset slightly. Her features suggested some form of Asian heritage and it could hear from very slight changes in pronunciation that Russian was not her first language. However something else about her voice struck a nerve but it couldn't place the feeling.
Agent Kaprov gave a grunt of acknowledgment before nodding to The Doctor who return the gesture before walking of the way The Asset had just come from. There was a beat of silence before the next order came "следовать(Follow)".
Almost automatically the Asset started to follow keeping next to its Handler. So focused on this task, it was only after a couple of steps that the Asset realized that X23 was following as well. She kept up with the fast paced march, which was surprising due to how she was in fact shorter than them. The march was in silence and the Asset found itself instinctively going over the mission file in his head. It wondered why he now had re-enforcements.
It was perfectly capable of completing the mission. It was in full working order but it did remember that the file had stated that Acosta would have bodyguards as the man was known to be fairly paranoid. However it doubted they would be able to overpower it and even if they did it didn't see how X23 could hold them off if he couldn't.
Seeing their approach two guards opened the doors, allowing them to enter the hanger swiftly. The runway was fairly quiet. The base being extremely remote meant that not much air traffic passed through. Really the only person of importance in the room was the Pilot who stood at attention next to their plane. Agent Kaprov stayed standing in front of the door and the Asset stood with him, waiting for his orders. Its eyes quickly snapped from the open hanger to X23, taking in her stance. Her arms remained by her sides but her hands were no longer balled into fists. They stayed flat and relaxed but her wrists were locked. She looked at ease but she was clearly ready if they were going to be attacked. Her feet were evenly placed, making it easy to get into a defensive position quickly. "Удачи, солдат (Good Luck, Soldier)" The Asset's body went into auto pilot, walking toward the plane as its eyes stayed on the girl. She moved at the same time it did, stepping slightly ahead of it. She moved with purpose but at the same time there was a grace to her steps.
They got strapped into their seats in silence as the plane fired up. It watched her as her thin fingered rubbed circles into her palms. 'Nervous tick' it noted, tilting its head curiously.
"Солдат (Soldier)" her voice shocked it, blue eyes snapped up to meet green. She remained silent just staring at it, face completely blank forcing it to hide its confusion.
"Да (Yes)" The Asset didn't know how to address her. Was she its superior or not? Would it be punished for addressing her wrong?
She still stayed quiet, her green eyes cold and dissecting. "Agent Kaprov будет у вас занят в течение следующих двух недель(Agent Kaprov will have you busy over the next two weeks)" Her voice didn't match the emotion she showed. Her words were slow and precise. It was factual but not authoritative and definitely not cold. "Мы будем видеть много друг друга (We will be seeing a lot of each other)".
The Asset felt perplexed by X23. It couldn't figure out where she stood or why she was there. She seemed different to other Agents. She initiated conversation and informed it of information that the Asset didn't need to know. Many questions ran through its head before they all melted away. The most important one remained. "Как я должен обратиться к вам? (How should I address you?)"
It must have done something wrong because X23's lips tugged upward at the corners. She smiled. "Позвоните мне 'X', Winter (Call me 'X', Winter)" Her head turned away to stare out the plane window but it still picked up on the warm smile in her voice. Maybe it did something right?
The early morning light shining through the windows flickered slightly, putting it on alert. What was happening? X23 didn't react to it. Was he imagining it? Wait… His mind began to be lifted from the hazed as the light became brighter and brighter until he could no longer make out the woman or any of his surroundings. Images played out in front of his eyes but his mind refused to focus on them. It felt like he was moving at a million miles per hour. A pain gradually grew in his brain as the pictures flashed by. The more he tried to concentrate on them the faster the pain grew. He squeezed his eyes close, teeth grinding together as he grunted at the agony.
His eyes snapped open, chest heaving as he lay in his bed. Bucky's mind settled from the chaos it had just injured and started to remember where it was.
He blinked, staring at the white ceiling. It reminded him that he wasn't in Siberia, in its concrete box of a room.
No, this was Stark Tower, named after Steve's friend. His thinking was confirmed as his eyes traveled down the cream coloured wall and onto concerned blue eyes.
"Buck?" Steve's voice held the usual worry but seemed confused as well, as the blonde sat a metre away from his bed.
The moment Bucky heard Steve's voice, he knew something was wrong.
Why was Steve confused?
It wasn't like nightmares were a new thing for Bucky. They happened quite frequently and he could never really remember what they were about when he woke up but he always managed to wake Steve.
He sat up quickly taking in his surrounding again. Did he miss something? As soon as he was upright he felt something touching his top lip.
Metal fingers reached up instinctively, trying to brush away whatever was on his cheek. His arm pulled away, allowing him to see his hand.
Bucky's blue eyes went from wary to straight up confused. Shifting his fingers, he could clearly see the wetness from the tears on his cheeks.
He stared past his hand, taking in his bed without any covers on. The physical evidence suggested that it was a very violent nightmare but Bucky didn't understand why.
His metal hand moved to pull his hair away from his face as he tried to focus on the dream. 'Memory' his mind correct as it recall the plane. Images of a smiling black haired girl appear at the forefront of his mind, reminding him almost exactly what happened.
But it was just that… A dream. Not a nightmare. So why was his sheets kicked off? Why was Steve there and why had he been crying?
"Bucky?" Steve's voice startled him, eyes snapping open to see that the buff blonde had breached the 1 metre gap to sit on the bed with him. The 1 metre gap had been Bucky's idea after Steve stupidly tried to calm him during a bad nightmare and got a black eye as a reward.
The mattress shifted as his friend sat, worry and concern plaguing his features. "You okay?" Bucky thought the question stupid but he was not ignorant to the masked confusion in Steve's voice.
"What happened?" Bucky's groggy voice made him pause. It was far too common for him to wake up with his vocal cords burning from yelling in his sleep but the familiar hoarseness was nowhere in sight. So how had he managed to wake Steve?
Steve looked at his old friend strangely. This wasn't how this scenario usually played out and it was really beginning to worry the Captain. "You were thrashing around, you looked really…upset". Steve didn't quite know how to describe his friend's condition. He hadn't looked to be in pain or at least not the pain he was usually in when he dreamed of what they did to him. "Do you want to talk about it?"
Bucky just sat in thought. He didn't understand. From the sounds of it his reactions had been considerable better than previous experiences but why did he have any physical reactions? The parts of his dream that he could remember weren't that bad, some were even pleasant. The mysterious Woman's smile flashed in his mind eye, bring a small smile to his lips and confusing the hell out of Steve. The smile fell quickly, however. There were parts that Bucky couldn't remember. Memories at the end of his dream that he couldn't recall and a small pit of fear began to form in his stomach. Whatever those memories were they could be behind his reactions and that worried him. What had he done? Green eyes with rage boiling under the surface pierced through his thoughts. What happened to her? What happened on their mission? She held warmth in her memory, she was different. Not like the monsters who tortured him. She was…human so why did she have no name? She only had a number. "X23".
"What?" Once again Steve's voice disrupted him and Bucky realized he'd probably said something out loud. He looked up meeting the blonde's gaze.
Something in Bucky's stare frightened Steve. It wasn't murder or brokenness but determination and a part of Steve was scarred of what that could mean. A spark of confusion appear in Buck's eyes, making Steve focused on the next words out of the ex-assassin's mouth.
"She called me 'Winter'".
AN: Hope you enjoyed it. Remember to faved, follow and review. Feedback is life. Next chapter will be up next week.