Midnight Shadows Guided Games GENEsis: DOFP Genesis In Character Days of Future Past [Other] Winter is Coming [Carol / Bucky]


09-19-2019
04:12 PM
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09-19-2019, 04:12 PM
[In-Character] [Post #421]
Bucky exhaled. Silence returned to his mind. Emma’s presence was gone, and so were the images of his nightmare. He pushed his hands against the sink, dropping his head and closing his eyes. He doubted he would see the day anytime soon in which he would not be reminded of Lang choking him. Or feel the burn of the electroshocks coursing through him. Or the beatings … sometimes it had simply been the guards, beating on him with fists or batons.

Two days. No more, he tried to tell himself. It should not be this bad. It was only two days. And yet, they were two days with barely any sleep. Two days in which they had done more damage to his mind than HYDRA had managed in several decades. Two days in which they had put a serious dent in his ability to believe that he could protect the woman he loved.

Bucky’s bionic arm whirred to life. He let go of the sink, knowing he would break the bowl if he held on too fast. Pain shot up his left shoulder and into his neck. He groaned again. The headache was getting worse again. It had risen to a four. He wondered how much longer until he would once more give in and ask for painkillers.

The small sound he heard wanted to push a smile onto his face. But that smile didn’t come – because in this moment, his mind paired her voice with the memories in his mind. Her barely-conscious form dwarfed by Lang. Bucky still could barely access what it was he had felt when the man had bent over her, moving rhythmically and eventually freezing or throwing back his head.

The sound of the bionic arm was louder this time as he pulled it back against his chest, hand fisted into a tight ball. The inlet on his ring finger glistened in the dim light. He grunted as the images threatened to turn his stomach.

His eyes tightly shut, Bucky shook his head. His neck was on fire as the physical attempts to push away the memories aggravated the headache to migraine levels. He was close to a six now.

“Yeah”, he responded, bringing out the words between holding his breath, hoping she would not hear it.

[Deep breath.]
Emma was back and Bucky gasped in response. He hated this kind of thing; hated when the people supposed to be on his side showed him, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he was not handling this on his own.
[You would not treat an inflamed appendix on your own either, Bucky. You would let a surgeon do it. Why do you think you can just walk off the kind of trauma you went through?]

Bucky swallowed. Not trauma. It was normalcy. What he had gone through was the baseline of his life. He was trying to push Emma out.
[Bucky, please …] she urged him. But all he could was dare her mentally – not with words but with emotions. How could she know what he had gone through?

Emma said nothing to this question but withdrew.
Instead, she her mind sought Carol’s. Her voice was gentle, just a fleeting whisper as Emma brushed past.

[He needs you, Carol. He’s not dealing.]
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09-19-2019
05:24 PM
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09-19-2019, 05:24 PM
[In-Character] [Post #422]
Carol leaned on her elbows, lying on her stomach while she still could and trying to actually look over the couch that was their bed, but she couldn’t look into the bathroom. Somehow, she knew he was there, but he wasn’t really fast with answering. Frowning, she pushed herself up further, but the door to the bathroom was half closed and she grumbled softly.

Was he hiding out in there? His soft response had her frowning even more, because that response hadn’t come with the swiftness, she was used of him. She shifted from underneath the blankets, found the tank top she had discarded earlier and pulled it over her head.

It fell just below her butt, and it didn’t go unnoticed to her that where once she wouldn’t have bothered getting dressed when alone with her husband, now she felt the need to cover herself up. Some things just needed more time, like getting back to the same comfort level of being in her skin like she had been.

Carol stretched when out of bed, her gaze falling on the Tylenol that hadn’t been touched by her husband. While reaching out to the pills, she halted when someone brushed gently against her mind, just a whisper…

It was Emma, and what she said, it was a warning, one which made Carol forget about grabbing the pills and making her way hurriedly towards the bathroom. Pushing open the door, she found her husband in front of the mirror and he wasn’t looking good. And that was putting it mildly, he looked freaked out.

He’s not dealing. Emma’s words, and Carol didn’t need to ask with what it was he wasn’t dealing with. The question was, or questions even, how much had he been shown? What had been done to him? And she had a whole list of them but knew not to ask before he was ready to talk about it himself. After all, that had been her own demand as well.

However, she had no delusions that he had been spared in witnessing her fate, and the helplessness he must have felt when Lang would have been gloating over what he was doing to her, because to a man like Bucky, protecting who you love was as vital as breathing.

She stepped towards Bucky, his bionic hand clenched tightly into a fist, the whole arm whirring loudly. She could almost feel the pain radiating off of him, that’s how tangible it was.

“Hey…” She softly said, pushing herself between him and the sink, facing him. Her hand moved over his bionic one, and gently started to pry at his fingers, making him unclench his fingers so she could entwine them with hers. “… you left my butt out in the cold.” She tried to get him to focus on her. Even if her joke fell on deaf ears.

“Buck, I’m not breakable.” She told him softly, indicating that whatever he was going through, she could handle. “Tell me what’s wrong, please?”
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09-19-2019
09:11 PM
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09-19-2019, 09:11 PM
[In-Character] [Post #423]
And then there she was. Carol. Entering the small bathroom. Her voice was soft and Bucky let out a small gasp that turned into a smile. She pushed in between him and the sink. Bucky gazed down as her hand found his bionic one. A breath escaped him as he tried to tune into her, relax the tension that had taken a hold of him.

Then he laughed when she spoke of her behind and how it had gotten cold. Bucky didn’t exactly have words, couldn’t make any, so he only shook his head. He locked eyes with her, his breathing still elevated.

Carol drew closer, her strength easily matching that of his bionic arm. She spoke again, and the soft cadence of her voice was soothing to his frayed nerves. Not breakable. His breath hitched in response. God, he hoped so. His bionic arm powered down, then he reset it, his strength rising to meet hers. Bucky stared into Carol’s eyes.

“Carol …,” he murmured, his tone betraying denial. He was there but he couldn’t. “If I do this … it becomes real.”

But that wasn’t it, was it? Bucky knew it was real one way or another. But if he acknowledged that it was, then the monsters would come out of this nightmare. If he acknowledged it, then it wasn’t just in his past. It was in the here and the now as well – because then his pain was no longer an overreaction. Then his pain was real.

He breathed, through his nose, in and out. It hurt. His neck was aflame. A seven. Light was becoming a problem. Soon standing upright would become impossible.

Bucky looked down, and watched where their hands were joined. He pushed back. Hard as he could, he pushed back. A growl rose from his throat and he narrowed his eyes. Then he yanked his hand back and staggered to the side. Bucky caught himself just before falling. He stared out of the window, into the black forest. Momentarily, the only sound in the room was his breathing.

“It was just two days, god damnit …” he ground out.
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09-19-2019
10:01 PM
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09-19-2019, 10:01 PM
[In-Character] [Post #424]
She understood where he was coming from, god, more than anyone in the world, she understood. She had fought her demons, was still fighting them, because could you get rid of them completely? She didn’t think so. They could become manageable, and maybe some did leave to never return but after a trauma like this, after going through a horror like this, some of those demons were bound to stay.

You just had to find a way to deal with them, to learn how to live with them. “Buck, I’m here regardless. I’m not leaving.” She told him, because some demons you had to fight with help from others.

Carol saw that he was in physical pain, knew that whatever his mind was battling, was causing real life symptoms. He was breaking, he was not coping…

Her other hand was in the process to move up to his face, cup it, make him see her. Make him believe that whatever had happened, she could deal with it. Could deal with his pain. He just had to open up his mouth and talk. Tell her his demons. Tell her exactly what was always playing in his mind. What he had on repeat.

But before her hand could reach his face, he pulled his other hand free from her, and pushed away. Carol instinctively moved towards him when he staggered but he caught himself before he could go down.

For a moment, she didn’t know what to do, what to say. He didn’t want to tell her, didn’t want to talk about it. Always deflecting, always making it about her needs and not telling her what he needed. And it broke her heart, he wanted her happy, he wanted her safe, and that was the crux, wasn’t it? She hadn’t been safe, and there hadn’t been anything he could do about it to change that fact.

“Buck, you need to talk to me…” She told him softly when he spoke about how it had been just two days. “This is breaking you.” Carol took another step towards him. “Your body is literally shutting down because you don’t want to talk about it.” Another step closer.

“What are you afraid of? That I’ll see you differently if I know?” She tipped her head slightly, took another small step closer towards him. “Have you forgotten those vows you recited earlier to me? For better and for worse, Bucky Barnes.” She held out her hand to him, waiting, hoping he would take it.

“Tell me what he did to you. Because you know what he did to me, he fucking raped me, and I know he made you watch it.” She felt her heart thud hard in that moment, she had never actually spoken it out loud.
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09-19-2019
10:29 PM
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09-19-2019, 10:29 PM
[In-Character] [Post #425]
“This is ridiculous,” he pushed out, on the verge of shouting. He flexed the bionic arm. The sound it made was anything but healthy. Bucky knew it stuttered. Something it should not do. He would have to see Jon about it. Probably soon, too. Bucky growled again. Leave it to his bionics, his physique to cause him trouble. Because the mind wasn’t enough. He pushed his fist outward, against the wall and the dry walling cracked.

Bucky pushed forward further. For a moment, he needed to hold his own. He needed to stand on his own – even if a part of him wanted nothing more than to just shrink into Carol’s arms.

Her words reached him. Scratched a very sore and tender surface. Carol spoke about this breaking him and he knew she was right. His body shutting down. In reflex, Bucky shook his bionic arm, flexing the hand. Again, the sound it made was wrong. Something was wrong. He hissed as a bolt of pain shot up the arm.

His right grabbed his left shoulder hard, pushing against the seam where metal made skin. It burned. He tilted his head, stretched his neck. His face was a mask of pain. He was fighting. Her words. This moment. He was fighting because if he gave in then he was in the process of giving this monster a face, and real hands. And real effect.

“Of course I know my vows,” Bucky snapped, throwing a glance at Carol before averting it again. He looked at her hand and another pained expression took his face. His arm jolted and he growled. Moisture pushed into his eyes and Bucky just wanted to growl. And then, as he refused to take the hand she offered, she took everything she had and she tossed it forward.

It was like a slap to his face. Bucky stared at her. The expression on his face darkened. Deeper lines that spoke of pain, spoke of terror. Forty-eight hours. A timeframe that held so many of his nightmares.

His bionic arm fritzed, and jolted sideways. This time, the cream coloured coating on the wall was split by a spider pattern. His face a mask of pain, he pulled the arm back. He held it close to his chest again, looking at the hand held out for him. Bucky was shaking his head before he really knew he was doing it.

He could feel the hand pushing against his larynx. Air constricted he couldn’t breathe. Bucky threw his head back and tried to suck air in. Pain soared through him as his mind brought forth the beatings.

Helpless.

He had been so damned helpless.

Bucky shook his head. He gazed at his wife and just shook his head. Then he pushed past her, picking up his pants on his way through the living room and stepping into them. He pushed open the entrance of the cabin and stepped outside. Bare-chested, and without shoes. The cold wrapped around him, providing a soothing blanket against the burn that had taken a hold of him.

He sucked in air and shut his eyes tightly.

Helpless. He’d never felt this helpless before. Not in seventy years of being HYDRA’s slave.
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09-19-2019
11:02 PM
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09-19-2019, 11:02 PM
[In-Character] [Post #426]
Carol wanted to scream at him, wanted to shake him, and make him see what he was doing to himself. Why couldn’t he see it? He was being impossibly stubborn, no afraid. He was afraid and she understood that. Afterall, she had needed to find her own way to deal with this, to come to terms with the fact that her body had been used and abused. It still gave her nightmares, it still made her not want to be the one underneath during sex.

And she was certain that if she examined all the things that had been done to her in those two days, she would find more things that could set her off. But she had talked about it, had found the courage to voice at least some of the horrors. It had helped, it’s why she had been ready to try to have sex with her husband again.

But as she looked at Bucky who refused to take her hand, to accept her help, she knew by voicing what had been done to her, it would wake something up inside of him. Pain, terror… all written on his face, and his arm conveyed it by fritzing.

He was killing himself, and Carol had no idea how long he could go on like this. All she knew that if he didn’t acknowledge those two days, what had been done, it would literally destroy him, and she refused to watch him do that. He shook his head, her hand was still out, but he didn’t take it. He was struggling, it broke her, god how it broke her to see him like this. There was nothing she could for him in this moment, he looked at her, shook his head again and then he was past her.

Alone in the bathroom she looked at the wall that he had punched and shook her own head.

She was not giving up though, turning on her bare feet, she followed him in her own pace, watching him leave through the entrance. Picking up a pair of sweatpants from the bedroom that were a few sizes too big, she pulled them on and tied the cords so it wouldn’t slip from her hips.

Then she followed her husband outside. He hadn’t gone far, the cold pushed against her, and she shivered for a moment before she let her ability kick in and provide protection against it. No need to freeze her toes off.

“You know what I saw that first half hour in that room?” She softly spoke, taking her place next to him, her arms crossed in front of her chest. “I was tied up, couldn’t go anywhere, but he made sure I could see the tv screen.” She still remembered what he had said to her, had given her a choice.

“You were sitting on a chair, wires attached to your body…” Her eyes were staring blankly ahead as she pulled forth the memory. “You were screaming.” She whispered. “He made me watch you for half an hour until I begged him to stop it. To stop hurting you.” And after she had made her choice he had laughed in her face and done the most horrible things. To her, and to her husband.

“Buck, you don’t have the luxury to shield me from your demons anymore, not when they are killing you.” She was the one to close her eyes now, and she swallowed, a chill creeping up her body as she listened to the silent protesting sounds of his bionic arm.

“For better and for worse… let me help you with the worse.”
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09-20-2019
10:25 AM
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09-20-2019, 10:25 AM
[In-Character] [Post #427]
Bucky knew that he was breathing too fast. His chest heaved with the effort. The pain in his head had climbed to a bright, red eight. Not even the cold air could sugar coat that. His shoulders hurt, his neck was a single source of pain. He could barely turn his head without grunting. He dug his toes into the cold, mossy ground. He tried to tether himself, tried to stop the world from spinning out of control around him. But he was fighting a losing battle.

Carol was behind him, then next to him. He could feel the warmth she used to fend off the cold radiate from her. Bucky couldn’t help, he stepped away from her. His hands balled into fists, he listened to what she laid out for him even if his mind wanted to refuse her. Why was she doing this? Why was it her to yank him back to that place when he had done everything in his power to make sure she knew she was out of it?

A small, pained noise rose from his chest when she explained her status. Tied up, shackled down to that damned table. Bucky had a feeling that he would have nightmares about that for the rest of his life.

What he hadn’t expected was what came next. She had seen him? What Lang had done to him he had done to her as well? Bucky felt he was swaying. Was he swaying? He could barely register just what his body was doing in this moment. His mind was overrun by the images spent at the mercy of Steven Lang. Fists driven into his sides, batons against his head, his feet, his testicles at times. Electroshocks burning everything out of his head.

Bucky remembered all of it in a single, constant blur. To him, it had lasted for hours. He had endured – much like he always had. He had taken the pain, had counted until the beating stopped, until the current stopped flowing through him.

And yet what her words implied was like a blow to his stomach. All over again. Steven Lang driving his fists into his body. “No,” Bucky ground out, turning his entire body instead of just his head. Terror gripped at him, clawed at him as her revelation seeped into his conscious mind. He stared at his wife with wide open, terrified eyes. “No, Carol … you didn’t.”

This time he was sure he swayed. He did not hear what else she said, instead his mind blocked it all out as it overloaded with this new piece of information.

“You traded?” His question was breathless. He retched, his entire body simply heaving suddenly. It was sheer power of will that kept his stomach contents down. “You traded?” This time he was on the verge of shouting. He could hear Lang chuckle in the back of his mind. He could hear the bastard draw in a breath and laughing … loudly, at the top of his lungs.

Then he took two steps forward, his hands registering the heat of her body as he gripped her by the lower arms. “Tell me you didn’t, damnit!” He held on, but knew he had to let go. Not because of the heat – the burns to his right palm would heal before the night was over – but because his actions were threatening or could be perceived as such by her.

He turned, blindly so as his mind spun the information into a tight coil. It spelled it out for him over and over again. The reason why Lang had raped her was because she had tried to save him.

Weak. Helpless and weak. Inconsequential.
How could he entertain the idea to have a family of three or more when he could not even protect his pregnant wife? When his inferiority was what had gotten her abused?

Pushing forward blindly, Bucky slammed into the side of the cabin shoulder first. The pain sharpened the narrow tunnel through which he perceived the world. A pained, terrible cry rose from his chest as his bionic armed whirred, augmenting its carrier’s anguish. He pushed forward, the arm swinging and obliterating the pile of wood that had sat there.

Bucky didn’t know whether he was crying. He just knew that he was shaking, violently so, unable to accept the thought that in the end, he had made it all the worse for her. His inability to protect her, had made her anguish all that much worse.
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09-20-2019
01:20 PM
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09-20-2019, 01:20 PM
[In-Character] [Post #428]
Carol didn’t dare look at him right now, because if she did, she would crumble, and she would see the horror in his face that would probably match the sound of his voice. Instead she wrapped her arms around her torso and kept her eyes on the tree line. What did he expect her to say? That she hadn’t? Would it make him feel better if she lied?

No, she wouldn’t lie. Not about this. It was her own truth, the one demon that would never be slayed.

A shudder racked through her body, hearing her husband retch as he came to the conclusion all by himself. She had traded, had been foolish enough to think that if she offered herself up, just like Lang had wanted, he would leave Bucky alone. That helpless part of her had really believed it.

He yelled at her, she closed her eyes, her arms dropped next to her body and she wanted to hide away. Hide away forever from all of it. Her body turned, his hands were scalding on her skin, but she forgot that she was the one producing the heat. She slanted her eyes upwards, looking at her husband who still wanted her to deny it all.

“You have your horrors, I have mine.” She whispered, feeling her own voice crack. And then he let go of her, and she wished he hadn’t. Carol wanted his touch, needed it desperately.

She watched him slamming himself into the side of the cabin, and the sound that rose from his throat it spread chills through her body. Carol moved, pushed away from the spot she had been standing. Wood splintered all over as he took out the pile that had been left for the fire indoors.

She strode with a determination, with added speed to her husband who was falling apart right in front of her.

Carol jumped at him, not giving him the chance to back up or move away from her. She pressed herself against his chest, her arms wrapping around his neck, and lifting herself up to make her legs wrap around his waist. She didn’t care if they ended up on the ground with the way he had been swaying.

“I’m not letting go. You can’t push me away.” She told him, hot tears streaming down her cheeks, as she held on for dear life.

“I did something horrible; I made the biggest mistake of my life by thinking he would honour our deal. In the end it never mattered what I promised him; he would have taken what he wanted anyway.” It had been a long time before she had accepted that truth. “And then he made you watch it.” She swallowed, burying her face in the crook of his neck.

“You’re not dealing, Buck.” Carol told him with a soft, angry voice. “You keep fighting it, and it’s eating you up alive.” She carried on. Wondering what would trigger him in finally giving in and acknowledge what had happened was over, that there was nothing to be done but only to move forward. Maybe some more truths on her part.

“If I tell you one of my fears, will you tell me yours?” Carol shifted her head a little, flicked her gaze upwards to see if he was paying attention to her.

“I’m scared that at some point you’ll look at me, and all you can see is how I looked afterwards.” She breathed out. “Broken, bruised, bloodied… used.” She cast her eyes downward, away from him. “It’s why I keep looking at you when I’m naked, to see the signs in case… you know, that happens.” She murmured.

“Please let me in, Buck. Please.” She whispered, burying her face once again in his neck, because she wasn’t letting go.
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09-20-2019
02:33 PM
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09-20-2019, 02:33 PM
[In-Character] [Post #429]
On the periphery of his mind, Bucky picked up Carol’s words. He had his horrors, and she had hers. Bucky wondered what that was supposed to mean. If anything, it separated them. Leaving each of them to their own devices. Making them suffer their own nightmares. The arm fritzed again. Not good. Even in this state, Bucky knew that this was now happening at an alarming rate. He flexed his bionic hand into a fist but it wouldn’t fully close.

He was moving away from her, further towards the back of the cabin. But apparently she would have none of that. Suddenly, Carol was by his side, then in front of him. She pushed herself against him, and for a moment her warmth was painful on his chilled skin. Then she pulled herself up, her legs around his midsection. Bucky felt himself tip forward. Pushing out a leg, he caught the downward motion but then ended up losing balance towards his left.

If that happened, he was off kilter. Bucky knew this beyond the shadow of a doubt.

He shifted, twisted. Then he hit the ground shoulder first. Not a chance in hell he would risk falling onto her. Bucky doubted that his weight could do anything to her, even if pregnant. But he would not risk it. No. Never.

The impact was jarring and he could have sworn it rattled him, right into the most remote corners of his mind. Everything felt fragile. Like he was about to shatter into a million pieces. She was half on top of him now. Bucky lay helplessly, staring up into the black sky. Everything hurt.

He registered her tears and he wanted to react but something pulled him back, pulled him deeper. He could almost feel Lang’s breath on his cheek.

Carol’s voice was like the narrator speaking from the off as his mind paired those sentences with the images from his memory. Tears pushed into his eyes, brightening the blue of his eyes. Carol’s face pushed against the hollow of his neck. He knew she was reaching out for him. Bucky wanted to respond, he wanted to react but his limbs would not obey his thoughts.

He was helpless caught up in his memories.

He was not dealing. The quality of her voice sent a shiver down his back. Was it eating him alive? Possibly. Did that mean he could do anything about it? Bucky doubted it. He refused to accept. Accepting would mean defeat – it would mean accepting that Lang had beaten him. Lang had made him the pawn in a sick game and Carol and Bucky had ended up at the man’s mercy. Just that Lang had never known what mercy was.

A strangled sound rose from his throat. In his mind, the ghost of Lang was gloating. He was commenting the footage playing for Bucky. “He narrated it,” Bucky pushed out, his eyes sliding shut. “Every sick detail. He told me how he fucked you, Carol.” His voice was heavy, something he almost choked on as it acted like a rod stuck down his throat.

Carol spoke again, and it required true effort on his part to bring the words to a place where he could process them. Fears. He swallowed. Did she really need a damned note to know his? He just stared upwards, working hard to get air into his lungs. Carol looked at him, but Bucky couldn’t bring himself to look back at her.

She continued, explaining to him what the reason was why she would watch him whenever he looked at her. It clicked into his mind and had he been able to, Bucky would have smacked himself upside the head. And yet, he couldn’t. He couldn’t shake himself out of the place, out of the terrible revelation that he was the reason for her being that … broken, bruised, bloodied… used.

Again, that sound rose from his chest. Ice cold hands reached up, bionic as well as human. He pried his wife away from his throat. “I can’t,” he murmured. “Please …,” he asked as he disentangled himself.

Bucky panted when he worked himself out from under her. He stood, swayed – and then he walked. Into the woods. Blindly. Just steering clear of trees and shrubs, he stalked ahead, seeking silence. Solitude. The cold helped to silence the pain – but it did nothing against the images.

He didn’t know where all this was suddenly coming from. Just a dream? Was this an effect of Carol’s revelation? Or had it been long coming? Had he always been headed to this place by avoiding the topic? Carol was right, he wasn’t dealing. But there was nothing to deal with, Bucky was certain. Nothing could be changed now. He had allowed for them to be taken – having the idiotic idea to leave the theatre that day early February. He had allowed for Lang to play them both.

Bucky felt his stomach turn. He felt every wound that had been dealt to him. He remembered the glee with which Lang had watched them heal. There had been a knife driven into his lower abdominal region the first night. Within an hour the wound had closed. Lang had acted like a kid at Christmas. Bucky pushed his human hand across the spot – just north of his groin. He choked when another memory surfaced. Lang contemplated whether Bucky’s testicles would grow back if cut off.

The only thing that had stopped Lang was a concern about diminishing his capacity to procreate.
Lab rats. Lab rats was what they had been.

A shiver raced across him. Bucky looked up, he looked back. No Carol in sight. He let our air, a gasp coming out like a sob. Stretching out one hand, he steadied himself against a tree. Tears pushed harder, and a second sob followed to boot. What was he good for, he wondered. As a man, as her husband, as a father … what was he good for if all it took was a single man’s sick mind to put it all in mortal danger.
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09-20-2019, 03:15 PM
[In-Character] [Post #430]
Of course Lang had done just that, taunt Bucky with what he had done to Carol. It made her shiver, made her want to weep for him. She knew, deep down, she knew what that had done to him, what it was still doing to him right now. Part of her wanted to tell him that he didn’t have to voice it, that she understood, but if he didn’t say it out loud, didn’t face all of this… what would be left of him? Would his mind just shut down? His body?

Would she truly lose him? Would Lang win?

Hands pried her away from him, she didn’t struggle, didn’t want this to become a fight. Carol let him disentangle himself from her, and she watched him get up, and the hardest part was to let him walk away from her in this moment.

She choked back a sob, sitting on the cold ground, she watched him disappear into the tree line. Getting up herself, she shivered, realising that the cold was getting to her. Instead of following him right away, she made her way back inside the cabin, and headed towards the bedroom. Picking up a sweater, a pair of socks and her comfy boots, she put everything on.

Then she grabbed one of Bucky’s sweaters, standing still in the middle of the cabin, she looked at their bed in front of the fire and she wanted to cry, scream, try to make him see that he wasn’t alone in this. She had no idea what would make him come back to her. Another sob tried to break free, her eyes shifted to the kitchen, and instead of going out, she first put on a kettle of water.

Then she went outside, got some of the survived logs, went back in and put them on the fire, stirring it so it was blazing once she was done with it. Warmth touched her cheeks, but she felt cold. So, so, cold. The fire glinted from her finger, looking down at her left hand, at her wedding ring, she let out a shuddering breath.

Her husband, her very stubborn husband.

Grabbing his sweater, she walked out of the cabin and went in search of him. Carol walked towards the point she had last seen him, and pushed through the trees, using her abilities to listen for him, to try and find him.

She had no idea how long she had been out there, trying to find him but by the time she did the sun was already setting. He was sitting against a tree, staring ahead blankly, and she softly made her way towards him. Crouching in front of him, he wasn’t seeing her, her fingers reached up, touching him on his arm and she flinched. He was cold to the touch. Too cold.

“Buck, I need you to put this on.” She murmured, getting closer and lifting the sweater. He let her put it on him without a word. Carol stood, took his human hand in hers, and coaxed him to stand up. She needed to get him to the cabin, to warm him up. Looking at him, he was so apathic…

“Come on, husband mine.” She started walking, holding his hand and guiding him back to the cabin. This time it didn’t take her long, and the cabin appeared in front of them. Letting out a sigh, she guided him inside and to the bed. The fire was still burning, not as bright as before, but it would do. Carol gently pushed him on the bed, making him sit, getting blankets to drape them over him, around him, everything to get him to warm back up. She then went to the fire and put another log on it, when she turned back to face him, she let out another sigh. Silently she stood next to the bed, next to him, her fingers brushing away strands of hair from his face.

What now?
__________________
Things we lose have a way of coming back to us in the end,
if not always in the way we expect.


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