this-girl-is asked: "If anyone's interested." ✪
The first few weeks are the worst. He dreams and wakes and dreams again, body slick with the cold sweat of fear. He doesn’t know anything, can’t tell what’s real and what’s not in his own memories, let alone in the world outside. He huddles in an old safe house, eating canned goods that expired years ago without even heating them up. He’s always had a cast iron stomach, always eats when there’s food, because there so often isn’t, and even when there is, he gives up half for Steve.
That brings him up short over his can of peas, and he tries to chase the memory. The name means nothing when he says it out loud, but he remembers the scent of sweat and blood and illness, a visceral sensation that there’s something missing, someone he needs to find, someone he’s lost. Someone he’s supposed to look after.
He picks pockets, accrues enough cash to get to another safe house, this one still stocked with a set of papers he can use to hopscotch his way across Europe according to the jagged shards of memory that he’s slowly reassembling into something that resembles a life. His life.
He still checks the newspapers every morning, but there are no messages. The Cold War is over and the Soviet Union is gone. Department X is no more, the Red Room has gone underground, and there is no one left to give him orders.
caughtinanocean asked: ✪
Steve gets the text while he’s meeting with Fury. Pack a bag. Be ready at noon, it says.
Bucky shows up at five after twelve with a car—a dusty, beat up old thing that doesn’t look like it will make it across the neighborhood, let alone the country—and says, “Get in, Rogers. We’re going for a ride.”
Steve looks at the car, at the determined look on Bucky’s face, so familiar even after all these years and calamities, and climbs into the passenger seat. He has seventy-eight dollars in his wallet and a Starkphone in his pocket. He tosses his duffel and the shield onto the backseat and hopes he’s packed right for whatever Bucky’s got in mind.
“I hope this wasn’t stolen,” he says once they’re on the BQE. He lowers the visor against the late afternoon sun and when that doesn’t help, he puts his sunglasses on.
“Nope. Got the registration from Natasha this morning.” Bucky glances over, grinning like he knows how incongruous it sounds and he’s waiting for Steve to ask.
So Steve does. “This doesn’t look like it’s Natasha’s style.” He runs a hand over the worn and faded vinyl. “I’m sure you’re going to tell me she single-handedly defeated HYDRA with this car or something, though.”
Bucky laughs, a sound Steve will always be thankful to hear, even if he doesn’t get to hear it often enough. “If anyone could, it’d be Nat. But no. She just won it off Logan in a card game.”
Steve grunts. “It definitely looks like Logan’s style. Almost as old as he is.”