Siberia


As soon as we reach the base I fall straight off the suit, landing on the concrete two feet below. My arms and legs feel like jelly, and every part of me is seized up. This is going to take some serious conviction to get me back on my feet. I never ever want to do that again. Not ever. It was awful. The wind was bitterly cold, and the metal of the suit even more so. Only my air-bending breathing technique (I am so glad I learnt that) kept my body temperature anywhere even near normal. Still, I'm feeling more like an Ava-cicle than a human at the moment. Chattering teeth and blue lips aside, at least I made it in one place.

If I had fallen off … let's just be glad it didn't happen.

With this weather, especially all the snow, I'm so glad for my leather boots. They're keeping my toes toasty and warm (kind of), and making it a lot easier to make my way through the drifts of blinding white snow. Aware of the empty pouches on my sides, I scoop up a few handfuls of snow, bending it into water, and storing some in each pouch. You never know when you need a little water to bend … or heal with – I'm hoping it doesn't come to that.

Tony has already headed inside, and I scramble to keep up with him. That suit must have heaters, or maybe it's excess heat from the working machinery. Either way, he's probably a lot warmer than I am. Still, I can create and manipulate fire, so it's not like I can't warm myself up. I just can't summon the energy to even have a small flame at the moment. I really need to sit down.

"Um … "I begin talking, hesitant and unsure, "Tony, can I talk with you a minute … before we go any further?"

He turns around to face, no emotion showing through the metal face plate. "About what? We haven't got long kid, can we walk and talk?"

"Not a kid," I mumble under my breath before continuing, "We can do that. I just want to talk about weapons … and philosophy, I guess. When … "I take a deep breath, readying myself to continue, "when someone shots someone with a gun and kills them, you don't blame the weapon – you blame the user. If a person was a weapon, a tool for an organisation, you wouldn't blame them for what they did. Especially if they were mind-controlled … hypothetically speaking.

"Clint was brainwashed and nobody blamed him for his actions. Bu- Barnes was brainwashed for seventy years and tortured and … made into a weapon. A tool for HYDRA. Do you still blame the weapon for its actions if it's a person? I wouldn't. Barnes is the same as Clint … even Natasha was kinda brainwashed as a child. They don't get blamed for that.

"But there's more to it than that. I mean, what if someone keeps something secret from you? And you find out, and they say it was for your protection. You'd be angry, upset, and maybe feel betrayed. That's understandable. But they always have reasons, and it's for what they think is your best interests. Sometimes, afterwards, you see that they were right about it, or they see that they were wrong, and you apologise. They care about you, and that's why they do it. It's fine to be angry, but you shouldn't do anything rash. You need to go your own ways and calm down. Before anything terrible happens that you might regret later.

"He cares about you, Tony. Just remember that people make mistakes, and sometimes forget things. And … and people aren't always controlling themselves. You shouldn't blame the tool for doing its job. A gun isn't evil or good. It's the wielder that decides that. Not the tool." I finish my speech, staring up at Tony with sorrowful eyes. That's the best I can do without saying 'Bucky killed your parents, and Steve knew'. It's the only way I can put it. Maybe it'll do some good, maybe it won't. Rational thinking tends to go out the window, after all, when emotions are involved. Love is blind. But so is anger.

"That was … deep." Tony glances at me over his shoulder. "You sound way too wise for a teenager."

"I'm not a teenager … "I huff, glaring at him, "I'm twenty. I guess wisdom turns up when you're from an alternate universe where this has already all happened. Just maybe."

"Don't get snarky with me. That's my job." There's a rather long pause before Tony speaks up again. "There's some information for now hidden in that philosophy mumbo-jumbo, isn't there? Secrets … choices … mind-control. Why not just say it straight up?"

"Because … "I rack my brain for reasons, and the words to express them, "because it would mess things up. Y'know … everything is already a mess and … and meddling could make it worse. It needs to be better, not worse. So, I just use small, uh, blobs of information to … to move thing along. Besides, my being here has already changed it. What's to say, that things won't happen in the way I know, just because events have changed because there's a spare part in the fighting. Maybe I don't know how it's gonna turn out. Maybe everyone won't act like cunts and dickheads and we'll all be fine." I shrug my shoulders, continuing onwards into the base proper.

"Like cunts and dickheads, huh? Oh, the eloquence in your language."

"Fuck off you condescending twat," I waggle my finger at him, a grin forming over my face, "I bet you have a worse mouth than mine."

"Maybe I do. Or maybe I'm an adult, and manage not to swear so much as you kids."

"Just because the movies are rated like 12, doesn't mean your real life is the same."

"I'm wouldn't tell you if it was."

"Ha! I knew it!"

"This conversation is over," Tony calls out, marching onwards, leaving me leaning against a concrete pole.

"Diva." I mumble, jogging after him.

As I get around the corner, I spot Tony facing off with Steve and Bucky, with the latter pair on the stairs. The pair of them don't seem surprised to see Tony, but mildly surprised at my appearance with Tony. I fought with them, and now I'm here with the person leading the team they fought against. But they're here to make up, so it should be fine. I'll just pretend to be part of the wall or something.

"You seem more defensive," Tony states dryly.

"It's been a long day." There's exhaustion pulsing out from Steve's words. Not just physical exhaustion; but mental tiredness too. He's tired of the way things are working out. The pair of them, Tony and Steve, do want to make up. I truly believe that at his point. It's just that the world is cruel, and won't allow it – not at this moment.

"At ease, soldier. I'm not currently after you." He takes a few steps forwards.

"Then why are you here?" There's still some of that kind of defensive tone to his speech. Defensive, like the way his weapon is shield.

"Maybe … your story is not so crazy."

"Maybe," agrees Steve.

"Ross has no idea I'm here, I like to keep it that way. Otherwise, I got to arrest myself." Hints of humour run through his voice.

"Well, that sounds like a lot of paper work." There's a heavy pause before, "It's good to see you, Tony." Steve visibly relaxes, lowering the shield. Bucky keeps the gun up, ready.

"Me too, Cap. Manchurian candidate, you're killing me. There's a truce here, you can drop it." Tony gestures to Bucky and his gun; after a moment's pause, Bucky lowers it.

With that, we begin to move through the base. There's only a few dim lights to see by, and darkness everywhere else. I hold a small flame in my palm. It provides just enough light to vaguely brighten the space, but flickers in the Siberian wind.

"I got heat signatures," Tony calls out, striding forwards in his suit.

"How many?"

"Uh, one."

"If it's any comfort, they died in their sleep. Did you really think I wanted more of you?" Helmut Zemo's voice echoes through the room. Dead super soldiers slump in cryo-chambers. Killed by Zemo, I assume. It's ghastly. Those people – though trained, deadly assassins – were still people. If there's a chance for Bucky to break his conditioning, then there was a chance for these guys too. Zemo is sick.

"What the hell," Bucky murmurs, quiet and uncertain.

"I'm grateful to them though, they brought you here." Zemo appears, as though a section of wall has opened up. Steve cocks his arm back, chucking the shield at Zemo. "Please, Captain." He sounds almost amused. "The Soviets built this chamber to withstand the launch blast of a few hundred rockets."

"I'm betting I can beat that." Tony steps closer, hints of arrogance in his voice.

"Oh, I'm sure you could, Mr. Stark. Given time," Zemo agrees. "But then you'll never know why you came."

I step forwards, heart pounding. "Um … yeah … I know, so I can do all the explaining later. Let's just wait for T'Challa to turn up, and we can just not listen to anything he says. Not important stuff, that's all he says. We don't need to know. We can, er, just go and …" I trail off; the others are more focused on Zemo, not the ramblings of someone who shouldn't even be here.

"You killed innocent people in Vienna just to bring us here?" Steve sounds incredulous, that someone would risk the lives of the innocent just to entice people for his twisted games.

"I thought about nothing else for over a year. I studied you, I followed you. But now that you are standing here, I just realized … There's a bit of green in the blue of your eyes. How nice, to find a flaw."

Zemo is definitely sounding a little bit stalker-y right now. Like, worse than super fans of the Avengers, or anyone for that matter. Crazy. But driven by his loss, anger, and heartbroken-ness. He wants revenge, but he sees it as avenging his family and his country. Not a crime. But a justice.

"You're Sokovian. Is that what this is about?"

"Sokovia was a failed state long before you blew it to hell. No. I'm here because I made a promise."

A promise to the dead.

"You've lost someone."

"I've lost everyone. And so will you. An empire topple by its enemies can rise again. But one which crumples from within … that's dead forever." There's a sinister touch to his voice as Zemo reveals his plan for the Avengers. Is this how he sees them? An empire, waiting to fall under the hands of a puppet master.

A video starts playing on a small screen – CCTV footage of the night Tony's parents died. My pulse is racing now. I can't do it … I can't stop this. It's happening, right now. He'll find out, and it'll be all the worse. They'll fall apart, shattered parts of a once unbreakable mountain. And they'll crumple from within, cracked by the weight of their choices, secrets, and lies.

"I know that road," Tony starts, eyes on the screen. "What is this?"

I begin moving, involuntary, before I even register what I'm doing, and cover the screen with my body, looking up at Tony with pleading eyes. "Please. You don't need to see this. Let's leave this place. Please. It's not – not anywhere you want to stay … it'll end badly … trust me, I know … please." My voice quivers and shakes, fear running through it.

The ground responds to my emotions, shaking and trembling like my hands resting at my sides. Noise echoes through the building, and snow shakes off the sides of the mountain. The whole room quivers.

Tony shakes his head. "I have to see. I need to know." With that, he pushes me aside, and refocuses on the screen.

I have to take several deep breaths, before I'm calm enough to stop the shaking. The video plays on. I watch, with widened eyes as Bucky – no, the Winter Soldier – kills first Howard, and then, his wife, Maria. I'm sure tears spark in Tony's eyes. This changes everything about how he thought his parents died. It wasn't a drunken crash of Howard's – it was a planned murder, orchestrated by HYDRA.

"Tony. Tony, "Steve starts forwards, concerning flickering in his cerulean eyes.

"Did you know?" Tony spins round to face Steve, anguish, pain, and hurt written all over his face. "And you – "He half turns to look me in the eyes, "you knew. That speech about not blaming the weapon, and brainwashing, and HYDRA – that wasn't just a general warning, was it? It was about this."

I nod, looking down. "I … It wasn't my secret to tell. I'm not even supposed to be here, I just … I just wanted you to have some warning and – "Warm tears roll down my cheeks. "I wish you didn't have to find out like this. I wish it had never happened at all. But it's not James Barnes' fault – it wasn't him actively choosing. HYDRA was the real killer; Barnes was just the weapon, as the Winter Soldier. Please, just walk away. It doesn't need to – "I choke up, gasping and sniffling quietly, "to end in fighting. You can end this with peace. You don't need to fight."

He just looks at me, a hard light reflecting in his eyes. "At least you tried." Tony refocuses on Steve, and repeats his question. "Did you know?"

"I didn't know it was him."

"Don't bullshit me, Rogers! Did you know?"

"Yes."

The single word is heavy, so, so heavy, and weighing much more than anything that exists in our universe. It's just three letters, but it says as much as all the stories in the world. Yes. One of the smallest words, but so heavy, and powerful, and potent.

It's enough to ignite fury in Tony's eyes; a boiling rage that seethes through him, burning up and up until he has to blow.

I position myself in between them, head turning to gaze as each of them in turn. This chemical mixture is about to explode, and its explosion will burn us all.


Steve pushes Bucky behind him, lifting his shield somewhat tentatively in front of the pair of them. Tony flips his face mask down.

"It wasn't him, Tony. Hydra had controlled of his mind!" Steve steps forwards, voice calm and reasonable.

When he replies, Tony's voice is just as calm and controlled, but also cold. Cold is bad for the energetic, if somewhat egotistical billionaire. Cold means a lack of emotion, and right now, that is very dangerous. "Move! I won't ask twice."

Tony moves closer, raising his left arm, and lighting up a repulser. Steve lifts the shield, and pushes Bucky further behind him. Without so much as a second's hesitation, Tony fires. The beam bounces off the vibranium, scorching the wall black. I push at the air, palms towards Tony, summoning a current to knock him backwards. But the heavy Iron Man suit is harder to move than any normal person, and he only moves a few feet backwards.

Regaining his feet, Tony fires again, launching forwards with his boot repulsers. Steve moves in defence, raising the shield and blocking Tony's blows. Bucky moves forwards, engaging in the fight. I stumble to the wall, digging my fingers into the rock, attempting to ground myself. They can't keep fighting; I don't want it to end this way.

"Stop!" My desperate cry sounds frail against the clanging sounds of the fight, and I have to duck to avoid a stray repulser blast, "Please! Just don't … don't do this! It's ok to be upset, but you don't have to fight!"

The others barely respond. Steve and Bucky glance at me with furrowed brows, possibly wondering why I'm here with Tony and so desperately trying to stop them. But Tony doesn't even do that; he merely straightens his posture, and carries on.

"He's not going to stop." Steve mutters to Bucky, who nods in agreement. "Go." But Bucky stays where he is, resolute and unmoving. His best friend went up against the 117 countries that signed the Accords: Bucky isn't about to abandon him now. 'Till the end of the line, indeed.

Taking a deep breath, I reach my hands out, seizing control of the metal suit and dragging it backwards, backwards, backwards, away from the pair of Brooklyn boys. Tony lifts the face plate, scowling at me.

"Let me go, kid. This isn't your fight, no matter how much you claim to know about our futures."

"It is." I say, fiercely. "It is my fight. I'm part of this world now; I care about what happens to those idiots that protect it. Something bigger is coming, and you won't defeat him if you can't stay together as a team. Let Steve and Bucky go. I know it's painful, I know it hurts, and that you don't know if you can trust him again, but you have to stop this. Otherwise, you end up lying in the cold with a broken suit. Bucky has his metal arm blown off. And Steve – "I glance at the other two men, looking them in the eyes, "he loses one friend to mistakes, and another to cryo-freeze. You don't need to do this."

Tony snarls, a wild and feral sound, born of rage, anger, and hurt. "Pretty words can't solve every fight, kid. Time you learnt that."

"No." I agree. "They can't. But maybe this can."

Reaching deep inside for the energy I need, I relax my hold on Tony's suit, and pull up rocky walls, separating the opposing sides. The ground shoots upwards, craggy chunks of concrete forming the bulk of the walls. They reach within three feet of the ceiling, and I have to raise my own podium to see other them. On both sides, the men are breathing hard, bodies still tense, but with lowered weapons.

"Look, "I hop onto the wall nearest Tony, seating myself on the top, "I know that it's a shock. It's horrifying to discover and even worse – "My words stick in my throat, requiring real effort to force them out, "– to discover that someone you trust knew, and didn't tell you. You're completely justified in your reaction. But this isn't solving anything. You have to – "

Tony cuts me off, waving a hand dismissively. "– I have to stop listening to you. You know nothing of this. Just run along, and keep your pathetic little pep talks to yourself. I don't have time for this. He killed my mom! With his bare hands! Don't you get that?!"

Tears smart at my eyes, and I raise one hand to swipe them away. "I do. I really do!" My voice quivers and shakes; the room responds, and begins to rattle, sending cracks into my walls. "Please … please just … I care about you idiots! I don't want you hurt or – "Killed. The word just refuses to come out, and I clasp both hands over my mouth. I can't do this. I'm not strong enough to keep these idiots from battling it out and nearly killing each other. I can't do it. I'm not a superhero – this is completely above me.

I retreat from my perch, pressing my back against the wall. The coldness helps to ground me, jerking me from my near panic attack. My pulse is racing, hands shaking, and breath increasing. Wrapping my arms around my knees, I rock backwards and forth, counting my breaths and trying to slow them down. It takes a few minutes until I'm calm enough to look back up again.

And what I see surprises me. Tony is clambering over the second wall, separating myself from Steve and Bucky. The latter give a shout of surprise, and there's a dull clang as Tony's armoured fists hit the vibranium disc. Wiping tears from my cheeks (which are totally not mine, don't be silly), I push up to my feet. Taking a stance, I pull the walls back down, save for a few chunks, which I form into earthen discs. They're useful as a weapon, ok?

Tony is continuing his assault on Bucky and Steve. Eventually, Steve manages to push Tony backwards, away from Bucky. Both of the super soldiers are breathing hard, chests heaving with the effort. I scramble to position in between them, ready to separate them again. Although, I've not been doing a very good job of that at the moment. Not at all.

"Do you even remember them?" Tony's voice rings out in the still air, heavy and charged with emotion.

"I remember all of them." Bucky's reply is so heart breaking. I can't even … I can't even begin to comprehend how it must feel: to have been brainwashed, tortured, and forced to kill people who may well have been innocent. To kill friends, as I'm sure Howard and Bucky were. The way Bucky wanted to go to that Stark Expo – I don't think he couldn't have been anything but intrigued by the wonders of science. But then he was pulled apart, and stitched back together as a puppet, then forced to kill someone he undoubtedly admired.

Bucky's story is nothing but tragic.

"This isn't going to change what happened, "Steve interjects, glancing between them.

"I don't care. He killed my mom." Tony shakes his head, resolute.

I frown, staring at Tony. "Did nothing I say earlier sink in? When someone gets killed by a person with a gun, you don't blame the gun; you blame the wielder. The Winter Soldier was the weapon, and HYDRA was the user. It wasn't Bucky's fault. It was HYDRA." My voice catches, and my tone turns desperate. He needs to know this. I don't want the team to be torn apart any more than it is already. I don't want them to get hurt. None of them deserve this.

"He killed my mom." Tony repeats, striding forwards.

I glance between them, all of them acting like children, unable to work together because they can't talk with each other. Tony shouldn't have sprung the Accords of the team; Steve shouldn't have kept the secret from Tony. They are equally to blame, but equally right in their opinions. The Avengers need oversight, but not under the man who keeps trying to hunt down the Hulk.

Tony fires off a repulser blast, Steve deflects it off the shield, and it singes it the wall, blasting only a few inches from my face. A wave of heat washes over me, and something snaps inside. I raise one head, sending a blast of fire through the room. It smashes it the opposite wall with a boom! The fighters freeze, limbs dangling in the air as they glance around, staring first at the burnt wall and then at my smoking fists. Bucky's eyes grow slightly wider.

"Enough!" I shout, flashing glares at all of them. "Just stop! I can't take any more of you motherfuckers fighting each over something that happened a long time ago. It's sad, and awful, and terrible – I know that. But it's happened, and we can't go back and change the past; we can only move forwards." My voice cracks, my eyes start to flash pale blue. I pause, clasping a hand over my mouth, and fighting to keep control. A jolt of energy has me leering forwards, gasping for breath.

As I slump against the wall, I can hear Bucky mumble something to Steve, "what the hell is happening to her eyes?"

"Long story." Steve mutters out of the side of his mouth, glancing at me in concern.

I pitch forwards, bracing myself on the ground on all fours, chest heaving and shaking. The world darkens, and I black out briefly, falling face first into the ground. But the knock to my head seems to have done some good – cognitive recalibration as Nat would say. My eyes stop flashing, and though shaky, I can regain my feet again.

"I don't care about when it happened!" Tony shouts, voice cracking with emotion. "My mom was killed, and I just found out that it wasn't Howard and his drunken stupidness. Do you have any idea how that feels? DO you?"

I back away, shaking my head. Tony straightens up in his suit … and blasts straight at Bucky. He raises his metal arm to deflect the blow, but the proximity blasts his arm off, leaving only a tiny stump at the shoulder. Bucky collapses backwards, and I rush to his side as quick as I can on wobbly legs. Steve steps up to cover us, pain flashing in his eyes.

"Please … He's my friend." Steve's voice sounds strained, and he falls back under the fury of Tony's assault.

"So was I." There's nothing but sadness, regret, and betrayal in that heartbreakingly hollow voice of his. "Stay down. Final warning."

"I can do this all day." His voice quivers slightly as Steve looks upwards, ready to take the blows of Tony's anger to protect one of his best friends, and the last connection to the world that knew Steve before it knew Captain America.

Tony takes aim, ready to fire. But Bucky stretches his good arm, pulling at Tony's ankle. It's enough to distraction for Steve to move to a better position. Personally though, Bucky's attempt to keep helping the punk he loves is the worst thing about this. From what I've seen of the metal arm, it seems to have a similar nervous system (if synthetic) with regards to touch. Having his arm blasted must feel like agony, but he's still got enough resolve left in him to try and protect Steve.

Bucky is and will always be a hero to me. No matter what anyone else tries to tell me. He is a hero.

By the time I've refocused on the fight, Tony is flat on his back, Steve straddling the suit. The latter has the shield raised, about to smash into Tony's arc reactor. It'll disable the suit but – oh god, it'd leave him to freeze. I have to … I've got to stop this.

I scramble forwards, tripping over my own feet. Drawing on whatever energy I can find, I push a blast of air at Steve knocking him off Tony. I then seize control of the metal suit, pulling it nearer to me. Tony blinks up at me, face covered in bruises and scratches. Both Steve and Bucky are similar banged up. But they can heal from the physical wounds, it's the mental ones that really need working on.

"Go … just go." I croak out, gesturing towards the exit. "I think … I think t-that … "I cough, a hacking noise that doesn't sound good, "T'Challa should be here. You can … can go to Wa – Wakanda. Go." Waving them away, I focus on Tony and the suit. It doesn't look good.

After a few moments, the sounds of shuffling footsteps echo in the virtually empty chamber as Steve and Bucky clamber back to the stolen Quinjet. They'll be safe in Wakanda, as least until Thanos turns up and – no. I've got to stop thinking about that. I already know too much, and I really don't what to find out more. If I'm to be stuck in this universe, I want to take things as they come, like I would in my old world. This is my home now, no matter how messed up it is.

Just before the pair leave, Tony manages to croak a few words: "That shield does not belong to you. You don't deserve it! My father made that shield!"

There's a dull clang as Steve drops the shield. He glances back to me with a small nod, trusting me to make sure Tony makes it out of here alive. I gulp nervously, but nod back, mouthing the words 'I promise' to him. I can do that – look after Tony, that is. Just until T'Challa can get here and fly us home in his jet. There isn't really any other way for us to get back. Tony came in the suit, and I was sat on that suit however uncomfortably. T'Challa is literally our only option for getting back safely.

Never would have thought I'd say that, I muse to myself, that I'd be stuck in Siberia with only a King from Wakanda as my chance for getting home safely. Weird or what?

But more than that, I'd never have thought that I'd be involved in so many choices, secrets, and lies. It's a big change from my simple little lifestyle in the training facility, helping train young benders to become masters. Now I'm helping superheroes in their battles, and trying to keep them from killing each other.

Go figure.

But Tony needs my help, so I can't afford to keep being preoccupied by my thoughts. Bending the suit from him, I left the chunks of metal clatter to the ground and start to assess his injuries. I've only figured out basic helping, but I should be able to ease pain on the more serious things, and heal with smaller cuts and lacerations. Pulling water from the pouch at my side, I layer it over Tony's forehead. He starts at the touch, but starts to relax as the water glows blue with helping magic.

"What … "Tony coughs, trying to get out his words, "whatever you're doing, it's awesome. Thanks."

"Healing magic, Tony. I can't really do much but," I shrug, carefully to keep my hands in the water, "I can try and take the edge off." Reaching a certain part of his head, I frown. "Looks like you've got a concussion, not to mention whatever else you've got everywhere else."

"I've had worse. Could you … could you do the rest of me? Please?"

"You know I'd have to get the water on your skin." I say, pointedly. "Are you asking me to undress you without having been on a date first, Mr Stark?" I quip, earning a weak laugh from Tony.

"You're too young for me, kid. I've got limits. Just … "He licks his lips, fear seeming to bubble up in his eyes, "please get rid of the pain."

"I'll do what I can. I'm not sure how much that is, but it'll be something. Tell me if it makes it worse." All serious now.

Bending the water back into my pouch, I begin to remove Tony's shirt, trying to ignore the large circular scar in his chest, marking where the arc reactor used to be. I pull the water back out, moving it over his arms and torso, keeping my face blank and impassive. In truth though, it feels like Tony has cracked a few ribs, in not broken them. There's a few swollen areas and small cuts that go down nicely. I can feel Tony's body relaxing as the pain lessens as my hands work on his many injuries. Eventually, I help him back into his shirt, and work on his legs. There's fewer injuries, and it doesn't take nearly as long.

Once finished, I sit back, energy and water supplies drained. My vision is darkening, and I'm worried I'll pass out from exhaustion. But I can't. If I do that, I won't be able to make the fire needed to keep us warm. I'm strong enough to last. I have to be.

With a huge amount of effort, I push myself upright, so I'm leaning against the wall, next to Tony. Concentrating on my palms, I focus a small flame in my hands, holding it between us. Tony leans into the warmth gratefully, and I move in to. It's not much, but it should keep us from freezing to death. Well, not that I expect we'll be here for more than a couple of hours at the most, but it's best to be prepared and think ahead, if you can. Foresight isn't always possible, and hindsight is 20/20.

In the end, it takes only an hour for T'Challa to find us. He helps the pair of us, helping Tony to stand. As they struggle out to the jet, Tony bends down to pick up the shield, informing the King that it's a 'souvenir'. At that, I hunt for the metal arm, covering it in my jacket to pick it up. The men look at me questioningly, but I just shrug. It might be useful, and maybe Wakanda can study it to make a replacement arm for one Bucky Barnes.

Hopefully this will be the worst, and everything else will improve from here on out. Hopefully.

I have a feeling that we'll need a little hope with where this timeline is heading.


So, um, hi again. I do apologise about the month-lateness of this chapter, but real life kinda got in the way. Between a week long holiday without internet, visits from family, summer homework, and starting college (6th form college) two weeks ago, I didn't exactly have time to write anything up that was good enough to post.

But, I got here at least. This chapter is the longest yet, at over 5,500 words, so it should be worth the wait What with Ava being part of the incident in Siberia, the fighting is slightly changed up, but I kept as many things the same as possible. So this means Bucky still loses his arm, but Tony doesn't get his suit crushed. It's a little AU but hopefully relatively similar.

All movie text is from an online transcript of the scene.

I hope you liked the chapter, and that none of the characters seem too OOC.

Once again, I only own my OCs, everything else belongs to Marvel.

This is my welcome back to this humble little story. Thank you to anyone who has read it from the very beginning, and anyone who has started reading it since it began to have more chapters. You are all wonderful people, and make it worth posting my attempt at fanfic. Thank you.