Anna awoke groggily, with Bucky still by her bedside, he hadn't left her side, feeling really guilty about how they had to sedate her. "How are you feeling?" He asked her gently.
"I'm alright." Anna responded. "What happened?"
"You started freaking out when Bruce was getting the antibiotics ready." Bucky explained to her. "We had no choice but to sedate you."
"I'm sorry." Anna whispered, and Bucky shook his head. "You don't have anything to be sorry for, you've been through a lot, we should have been more careful. Do you feel like you could eat something?"
Anna slowly nodded her head, and Bucky pressed a button. A few minutes later, a blonde woman came in, carrying a bowl of warm broth. "Hi Anna, I'm Pepper." Pepper smiled warmly, giving the bowl to Bucky. "It's nice to meet you, Steve has been telling us a little bit about you."
The two women talked for a few minutes before Pepper left, having some business that she had to attend to.
"Do you remember anything before HYDRA?" Bucky asked as he helped Anna to take small, slow sips of the broth.
"I remember some things, but a lot of it is fuzzy." Anna responded. "I think that I was about nineteen when they captured me, I was on my way to work at a diner."
"Do you know if anyone was looking for you?"
Anna shrugged her shoulders. "No idea. My dad died when I was little, he worked on the docks and there was an accident. My mom...well, she didn't really care what I did or what happened to me, she was always drunk or high or something. I moved out as soon as I was eighteen."
"I'm sorry." Bucky said sympathetically. "If your father was anything like you, than I'm sure that he was a great man." Bucky set the now empty broth bowl to the side. "If you're going to be uncomfortable sleeping in here, I can talk to Bruce and see if maybe we can get you into one of the bedrooms."
"Please." Anna said gratefully. The hospital type setting was greatly unsettling to her.
"Are you going to be alright for a few minutes?"
"I'm sure that I can last without you for a few minutes." Anna said, ad Bucky was glad to hear that her tone was a teasing one. He grinned at her before leaving the room, she already seemed so at ease around him.
Bucky found Bruce upstairs in the kitchen, making himself a cup of coffee.
"How's she doing?" Bruce asked Bucky.
"She's awake now." Bucky responded. "But she doesn't want to have to sleep in the infirmary, do you think that we could move her into one of the bedrooms?"
Bruce thought about it for a moment. "I suppose that it would be okay, we would have to monitor her closely though, just to make sure that nothing else is wrong."
"She's gonna be glad to hear that." Bucky assumed that the hospital setting reminded her of HYDRA, and he was surprised that she hadn't freaked out again. "I'll go and help her move into one of the empty bedrooms then."
Anna was beyond thrilled when she found out that she didn't have to stay in the infirmary. Bucky held out his hand to help her to stand up, and she gratefully took it. "Pepper gave you some clothes that she thought might fit you, once you're completely healed, she's going to take you out to get new clothes, as she doesn't know what exactly it is that you like." Bucky explained to her, and Anna nodded.
Everyone was being so nice to her here, and Anna wasn't completely sure that she deserved it.
"What's wrong?" Bucky asked her softly, noticing the look of distress on her face.
"It's just...you're all being so nice to me." It had been so long since Anna had been shown any form of kindness, it was almost too overwhelming for her to comprehend.
"Hey..." Bucky wrapped his arms around her, pulling her into a hug. "I'm just glad that we were able to get you out of there. I know better than anyone the things that HYDRA can do to a person." She looked so small and frail in his arms, it made Bucky want to protect her from every bad thing in the world. "I'm going to keep you safe." Bucky whispered as he placed a kiss on her head.
They walked into the large, spacious bedroom, which was painted a warm cream color.
"There's an adjoining bathroom as well." Bucky told her. "There's all different kinds of shampoos and stuff if you want to take a shower or anything."
A shower sounded heavenly to Anna at that moment, and Bucky chuckled at her eagerness. "I'll wait out here for you, there's pajamas and things in the drawers."
Anna grabbed a pair of fuzzy feeling polka dot pajamas before going into the bathroom, closing the door behind her. She turned on the shower before going into the linen closet, looking at three shelves that were filled with different smelling shampoos and conditioners. She chose one that smelled like coconut. She then stripped down, biting her lip as she stared into the mirror. Multiple bruises covered her torso, and it was obvious that she had been severely underfed, her bones were sticking out so much that Anna was surprised they weren't poking through her skin. Her greasy hair hung limply at shoulder length. She looked pitiful, an absolute mess, and she didn't even want to think about how she must have looked when she was curled up in that HYDRA cell.
Anna had never felt anything as heavenly as the hot water when it hit her skin. She looked down, watching as years of dirt and grime disappeared down the drain. Soon, the calming smell of coconut filled her nostrils as she scrubbed herself down, scrubbing at her scalp. Her skin was pink by the time that she was done, and she stepped out, wrapping a fluffy white towel around her body. Everything was looking up now, but nothing good stayed forever.