Chapter 2

Bucky was young again and free, he was at home with her too.

"You will never be able to find me," she said, as they were playing hide and seek in the house.

"I'm two years older than you, I know all the hiding places in this very house," Bucky came back with.

"We'll see," she said. "Now count to thirty and I'll hide."

Putting his hands over his eyes, Bucky started to count.

"One, two, three, four, five…"

The scene changed to him looking around the house creeping around the house as quietly as possible, the sound of floorboards creaking at the sudden weight.

"Where are you, I'm going to find you."

Bucky kept looking in all directions but came out empty.

"Where are you Bucky?" her echo came from somewhere in the nearby room. "Where are you?"

She kept repeating the sentence, but Bucky still couldn't find her.

"Where are you Bucky?!" the words started to become more urgent and scared. He rushed around the house looking for all places that she could be hiding in. Nothing.

"Bucky, Bucky!" her voice screaming his name, scared and lonely. Bucky rushed into her bedroom aging from thirteen to a hundred-six, to find a young teenager sitting on the pale blue covers. Her hair was choppy and long, her corpse white hands shaking in her lap, her breathing was uneven and shallow. The girl looked up at Bucky, her eyes were dark with emotions, her skin transparent to see the blue veins trailing through her neck and face. It was her.

"MJ," Bucky called to the girl- his sister. She just stared at him, a dead sense of emotions in her eyes. But then she jumped up at lightning speed and gripped Bucky's shoulders, although there was no feeling to her touch, he tense, looking dead into her emotions hidden in her mind and scraped into her eyes.

"Bucky!"

Bucky woke up in a pant. Again another nightmare, but it was different, it was about her. The TV had been left on from the night before, on a channel where the highlights of the game from that night. The street was quiet this early in the morning despite it being seven and everybody trying to be at their job on time. Bucky got off his makeshift floor bed and went for a shower. The warmth soaked into his bone, but there was still a chill in his blood from the memories revisited. Drying off and getting ready for another day, Bucky went to the TV cabinet and pulled it forward. Looking for a house, he requested that if he could have one with a few… private spaces it would put certain things that belonged to him. Shuri had been most helpful with making two vibranium safes for him, that could condense down to any size to fit any shape and could sustain any amount of weight. This one behind the TV cabinet and one in the kitchen. Importing the code: 17.9.1, it clicked open with blue light, to reveal what it held. Some old burned brown and white photographs as well as a small blue leather diary. Taking the items out, Bucky walked over and sat down on his 'bed' and examined them in hand. Steve had kept the photos and diary in memory of him when he 'died', the photos were of him and her when she was about eleven and Bucky, was about thirteen. Her hazelnut brown hair looked dark in the two coloured photos, her eyes were dark and rich with black ink, then warm brown. A laughing grin on her face, like there was no one but them in the world. The scent of rose candle wax in her hair was almost present with Bucky. They were standing outside their family home getting ready for the first day back at school again.

The small blue diary was filled with neat old cursive letters, one word after the other like waves on the sea. Flipping through the pages, the writing turned a little more messy like a rough day at sea, then to print, with highlight keywords. The diary had first been her's then when she disappeared then he kept it, turning it into his peacekeeper in case anything would pop up in his memories, that he wouldn't tell people about which was a lot coming from him at this point. Bucky had no idea why Steve kept the diary, but he always suspected that Steve had a sweet spot for his younger sister, they were alike in many ways, well when Steve was small at least. No matter how many times Bucky warned him not to go flirting with his sister, there was always a small moment in Steve's eyes when he spotted her that it was 'sun's out, sticks out.'

A knock at the door startled Bucky out of his thoughts. He scrambled the last of the photos behind the cabinet, making sure they were out of sight and made sure that they would be put back later. Hurrying to the door not keeping the person waiting, Bucky unlocked the door and opened it to find Sam standing at the door waiting. It had been a week since the breakdown with Ghost and the two of them had never really talked about it. It was really more on Bucky though and he knew that. He didn't want to talk about her.

"Hey cyborg," Sam greeted. Although the gesture was supposed to be lightening up, the note of tension in Sam's voice was clear.

"Look I know why you're here and…" Bucky tailed off. Was he really going to tell Sam about her? "I think I'm ready to talk, but if I lose sanity it's on you."

Sam just rolled his eyes and stepped into the apartment, taking in his co-workers home. At the sight of Bucky's sleeping arrangements, Sam gave Bucky the look.

"You know if you ever need to move furniture or get anything else to make the room more lively, call me anytime."

Bucky just rolled his eyes, bumping his shoulder into Sam's as he passed him to the kitchen.

"You want breakfast?" he asked looking in his fridge for what he had. There were eggs, bacon and a little bit of spinach.

"Sure, if you can still cook old man," Sam replied, coming over to the kitchen leaning against the counter. Getting out a pan and the ingredients, Bucky started to crack eggs into the bowel, cutting the bacon into small pieces and putting it all into the pan with the spinach to cook the omelette.

"So are you going to start or do I have to wait for breakfast first?" Sam asked, still leaning against the counter.

"No, unless you want me to burn the bottom of your breakfast," Bucky retorted. Sam just rolled his eyes and looked around for something to occupy his butt with than just standing there.

"Hey!" he called from across the room. "What are these photos from? Is that you?"

Bucky left the omelette mid-turn on the spatula and left the kitchen. Cursing himself for not hiding them better. He found Sam looking through the photos, Bucky was surprised that he hadn't gone for the diary.

"Is this you?" he asked again, holding up the photo of Bucky when he was about ten pushing her on the rope and wooden plank swing.

"Yeah," Bucky replied quietly. He knew it was coming, Sam was bound to ask it.

"Who's this?" There it was, Sam pointed to the seven-year-old girl on the swing.

"M-my sister."

It was a whisper, something so quiet Bucky didn't think he said it loud enough for Sam to hear him. But apparently, he did because Sam whipped his head around, staring Bucky in the eyes.

"You had a sister?" he asked, getting the same quiet whisper as Bucky.

"Yeah, she disappeared a few years before the war started, we never knew what happened to her, one of the reasons I went to that war because she would have wanted to go just as much as I did, it's also why Peggie went as well."

Sam just stood there, looking at the photo in utter surprise and sadness. It reflected as he looked up at Bucky again.

"Why didn't you say anything about this?"

Before Bucky answered a smell filled the room.

'Breakfast' Bucky's mind jumped to. Racing to the kitchen, Bucky found the omelette relatively good to eat but the spatula was done, the plastic had melted onto the pan, bubbling black mush.

"I thought you said you could cook," Sam called from behind him. Bucky turned off the pan and left it to cool rather than trying to scrape it off hot.

"I never said I could cook, you asked if I was old enough to still be cooking," Bucky corrected. He grabbed a plate and put the okay looking omelette and slid it in front of Sam. Sam checked it out first, before grabbing a fork from the drawer and sat back down to eat.

"That's not half bad," he said, taking a second scoop. "Why do you only have butter knives in the drawer, you're not that poor in your family's name are you?"

"Because the government doesn't believe that a former Hydra experiment is allowed to have good cooking utensils, for the good of the country," Bucky replied not at all joking about it.

"You want me to do something about it," Sam asked, eating a little more of his breakfast.

"No, if it means that they might trust me and let me be free then I'm willing to wait for a good chance to get my cutlery back."

Sam snorted and went back to eating his breakfast. Bucky went back to looking in his fridge since his only pan was out of use and so was his spatula. He decided that he would just stick with a coffee. He went to fill up the kettle and turned it on, there were some good things about this future, things got done a lot faster than 'back in the day'. The kettle was done in no time, Bucky got out the instant coffee mix, a little bit of cream and poured the boiled water. Stirring it together, Bucky came over to join Sam at the counter and saw that his co-worker was pulling a face at him.

"What?" Bucky asked looking down at his choice of wear of a white shirt and jumper with jeans to see if he had gotten something on himself.

"You have that coffee, you really are that old that you can't taste something so horrible for something good," Sam said finishing off the omelette.

"Okay, I'm a hundred and six, go easy on me," Bucky replied, taking a long sip to annoy Sam.

There was a long pause between the two men, having breakfast, seeing the day unfold.

"You want to tell me why your sister is working for Hydra?" Sam asked, breaking the silence. Bucky almost choked on his next intake of coffee, avoiding spitting the mouth full out, he swallowed fast, burning his throat in the process.

"What?' Bucky wheezed out through gritted teeth.

"Is your sister Ghost?" Sam clarified.

Bucky went silent, he thought of the dream, it was almost gone, a distant thing that would sit in his subconscious. But then the view changed, his mind went to Hydra, so quickly that he was unable to stop himself drowning in the pit of memories. So many flashed at once, cryo-freeze, mission reports, fix-ups, but the worst by far was the chair. He could feel the cool bindings around his forearms as they laid the Winter Soldier back and shoving the rubber bit in his mouth, before commencing.

A hard impact swept across Bucky's face bringing him back to reality. Sam stood in front of him, his face beyond any concern that Bucky had ever seen. Bucky was sitting on the floor in the kitchen, his white shirt splattered with coffee, his hand dripping in it. Sweat blossomed on his forehead and Bucky was puffing from hyperventilating

"Did you- did you just slap me?" he asked, a tingling pain had started to develop on his left cheek.

"Well, it was that or you destroying your own kitchen having to explain to the real-estate what happened," Sam came back at him helping him to stand and look around. There was a hole in the wall, and the plastic-covered pan's handle had been ripped.

"I told you talking about this wasn't good for me," Bucky said, looking at the hole in the wall closely, the metal arm had done that one alright. "And yeah Ghost is the torture of MJ, my sister."