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


09-20-2019
08:04 PM
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09-20-2019, 08:04 PM
[In-Character] [Post #431]
Bucky had shed tears, he had screamed. He had beaten upon trees, bringing more than one down. Not a scratch remained on the bionic hand. The knuckles of the human one were only red now. The wounds had closed. Another few hours and they would be gone without a trace. Bucky wondered whether all of his life was like that, would be like that. Everything appeared for a small while and then vanished without a trace.

In the end, he would go back on ice and none of this mattered.
None.

The chill had settled in his bones. And while it certainly would not kill him, neither the sweater nor the warmth of the cabin chased it away.

But worst of all, he felt empty. In the wake of his breakdown, there was nothing there. Nothing to say, no more screams to be screamed, no more need to break down other things with his hands. He had gone into limbo – his very own. Where Carol could not follow. He knew he needed to make words. He needed to make full sentences and say these things.

He knew the matter wouldn’t be resolved just by talking about it. In the end, only time could heal wounds.

Bucky sat with his head bowed, feeling her fingers in his hair. At first he had wanted to pull away, but very quickly he found himself somewhat calmed by the notion. Bucky closed his eyes, trying to call forth anything but those two days. But it appeared like his world had shrunk to only those forty-eight hours for the moment. No matter what he tried, he kept going back.

Into the chair. Into his entrapment. Shackled down. Purgatory.
Neither of you will walk out of here.

Bucky had defied the statement. Of course they would. Somehow, someway, they would prevail. Someone would free them. And yes, someone had freed them. But maybe Lang was right after all because maybe they were able to get out of that prison. But the prison could not be taken out of them.

Eventually, he just pushed the blankets away – too tired to remain where he was. The weight on his shoulders, pushing him down, had tripled. Bucky wanted no more than to slip under the covers and close his eyes. Lie in the dark and wait for sleep – sleep that would only bring more dreams and make true what Lang had promised.

That neither of them would walk out.

He crawled onto the bed, and pulled his cover along. He made no move to undress. His hair was unkempt, his face ashen. His arm was definitely not at full capacity. The seam hurt. For the first time in a long time, the seam where skin met metal actually hurt. So he lay down on his right shoulder, pulling the blanket up so high that only his nose stuck out.

Carol crawled up onto the bed as well – but, and he was grateful for it, she kept her distance. Bucky wasn’t sure he could bare her touch on his body, on his skin in this moment.

Bucky closed his eyes, shut out the world around him and tried to sleep.

He was in his chair. Half a dozen people were buzzing around him. One of them was Lang, excitedly pushing for new footage to be transferred to this screen. Bucky was only half conscious. Drool was running down from the corner of his mouth. Thirty minutes prior someone had taken a baton to his shoulder. At some point, his clavicle had given. Some tech had triumphantly reported fifteen minutes just how quickly the subject’s bone was beginning to heal.

Bucky still reeled from the pain.

But no rest for the wicked they said. The next treatment for the Winter Soldier programming was not for another hour. So right now, it was all about Shiva. Someone sat between his legs, his pants opened and his erect member standing to attention. It was a mediocre handjob at best. He grunted, half aroused and half disgusted by it. But they had given him something. Otherwise his dozing state made no sense.

Hands came to rest on his thighs just above his knees. Bucky got a noseful of a very distinct aftershave. He heaved.

“Now now … behave,” Lang told him. “Harder. We need more of his semen. We have half a dozen viable eggs. Now we need him to add his part.”
“But sir, weren’t there like twelve?” someone asked.
Lang hesitated for just the fraction of a second. “No. Six. The rest was sub par.”

Bucky’s body convulsed, his chest pushing upward as his back arched. He came. Through half lidded eyes he watched the milky substance being caught in a wide test tube – more like a jar than a tube. A wail escaped him.

And through that he woke.

Bucky breathed rapidly through his nose, he pushed the covers back but remained on his side, pushed against the inside of the armrest. His forehead lay against it. It was still dark out. The only light they had was the glow of the ambers. Bucky swallowed, pulled back his head just a little. Other than that, he remained where he was.

“Babe …,” he pushed out. His voice hoarse. He knew she wasn’t sleeping. He knew was close. Keeping her distance was probably killing her.

“I …,” he tried, but he had no clue what to say. His throat hurt and he wondered why it did when his knuckles had healed by now. Pushing air out, he resigned himself to this moment of not having anything.

“Tell me a story?” he sounded tired. Incredibly tired.
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09-20-2019
08:45 PM
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09-20-2019, 08:45 PM
[In-Character] [Post #432]
After she had watched him crawl onto the bed, cover himself completely up under the covers, she had kicked off her boots and followed. But instead of lying down next to him, she sat in the corner of what was the armrest and the back of the pull-out couch. She understood the need for distance, she didn’t like it, but she understood it.

So, she sat there, keeping her eyes on him, her legs pulled up and her arms wrapped around them. She let her head drop against the backrest and watched how he closed his eyes. Silent tears rolled down her cheeks, her heart aching for the man she loved so much.

After a while she heard his breathing even out somewhat and she knew that he was asleep. Letting out a shuddering breath, she kept her vigil, kept her eyes on him and watched him sleep. But this had been as tiring for her as it had been for him, because at some point she must have fallen asleep herself.

Carol dreamt, one of those dreams that started out with a recurring theme. She didn’t mind, they were a reprieve from the nightmares, but there was something important about them as well. They gave her hope…

Benji? She called out, even her inner voice sounded tired.
I’m here, what’s going on? He pulled her into a mindscape and he frowned at her. You don’t look so good.
Yeah, well, we’re having a bit of an off day. I need your help.
Okay. Tell me.
That dream I just had? Can you show him?


She saw him frown, space out a little and then a gentle smile curling on his own. Yeah, that won’t be a problem. Just tell me when.
Thanks, Benji.
No worries, darling.


And then she was alone in her mind, and she was blinking awake, not sure how long she had been out, but she couldn’t sleep anymore, and her gaze wandered back to Bucky who was still sleeping. Carol hadn’t moved from her place, and it was killing her to keep the distance between them.

Her gaze shifted to the fire and noticed that the fire had simmered down to just glowing embers, apparently she had slept longer than she had anticipated. Then her gaze snapped back to Bucky who was breathing rapidly through his nose, and covers were shoved away. He was awake. Her heart skipped a beat when he called her babe, but instead of going to him, she would wait him out. Let him decide the pace, what he needed, even if all she wanted was being held by him.

She noted the effort of him trying to speak, saw that he failed in coming up with more words and she waited.

A request for a story, and one of the corners of her mouth lifted slightly. “Can I show you one instead?” She said softly, looking at him. “Will you allow Benji to do it?” She waited for him to agree and when he did, she softly poked Benji to go ahead and show Bucky her latest dream…

Carol had a thoughtful frown on her face, her gaze was lifted upwards, and her hands were pushed in her lower back to make sure she wouldn't topple over. Her belly had gotten so big in the past few weeks, she had asked if she wasn't carrying twins. But no, just the one, and growing as she should. Another girl, it made her smile. It made her very happy. They had already picked out a name for her… Susannah Marie Barnes.

One of her hands moved to her belly, the little critter deciding to give her mother a kick, the other monster squealing with delight up in the air. Joy had activated her flying ability, and was now in the process of doing somersaults in the air.

No matter what Carol tried to do, the little girl wasn't coming down. So, her mother had resigned to wait her out until her energy would deplete.

"She still not giving up?" Bucky came standing next to her, he looked amused at his daughter and her antics up in the air.
"Nope. She's relentless. I tried chasing her but she loved that."
"Of course she did."
"So now I'm waiting her out."
"You sure that's safe?"

Carol frowned, her daughter should be safe from physical pain, but they hadn't really tested that out. Not that she was actually planning on deliberately hurting her child, but so far they had been careful in handling her.

"I don't know. I can't be sure what she inherited from me." Another frown, Joy was unique, much like Carol, the only thing reliable in this equation was her husband. Super Soldiers always ended up with the same skill set, so it was safe to say that Joy would at least inherit that from her father. But what Carol might have given her? That remained a surprise.

Well, at least she could check flight on that list.

"Look mommy!" Joy laughed, circled around their heads and then took off again.
"Babe it'll be fine."
"You say that now, but wait till there's two." Amusement flitted through her, grabbing his hand and placing it on her tummy. "You feel that? It's like she's already flying in there."
"She is very active." Bucky agreed, moving to stand behind her, his hand still on her belly as he let his chin rest on her shoulder.

"Two of them, Buck." She murmured, looking at Joy nearly crashing into the wall but taking a sharp turn right before impact. Leaning against his shoulder, she let her left hand fall over his on her stomach.
"We could always go for three." He brushed his lips against her ear and she shivered.
"Lets see if we can survive two first." but her body was already responding to his implied tone, which put another smile on her lips.

Bucky laughed, his voice a low rumble against her back and she let out a happy sigh. "Let me go catch our spider-monkey." He gave her another kiss, freed himself from her and walked to the middle of the room where Joy was now circling.

"Baby girl, what are you doing?" She heard her husband ask.
"Making a whilwind." She said her face contorted in utterst concentration.
"Why, baby?"
"Mommy can do it." Joy declared, and Carol caught her laugh with a cough.
"I see. Maybe you need some more cookies first."

That made their daughter stop, and look at her father in contemplation. "Cookies?" She asked.
"To make you grow."
"And then I can make whilwinds?"
"Maybe. You probably need a lot of cookies first."

Carol could see her daughter mull over this piece of information. Because lots of cookies was always a plus in her daughter's book.

"Catch me!" Joy announced suddenly and Bucky held out his arms as the little girl let herself fall into them. Peals of laughter filled the gym, as he gave her a full on tickle attack. Carol had walked up to them, an amused smile on her lips.
"Cookies, huh?"
"It worked, didn't it." He gave her a grin and she just shook her head.
"Now she'll expect to get cookies each time we want her to get out of the air." Carol told him as he put the squirming monster onto the floor. She took off in a rush, running for the kitchen that had the promised cookies.
"We probably should make sure there are plenty then." he caught her in his arms, pressing his lips against hers and she sighed happily again.

"We can't bribe our daughter, Buck." She murmured against his mouth.
"Why not? I bribe you all the time."
"That's your way to handle the Barnes women?"
"Damn right it is."

And he caught her laugh with his mouth, kissing her until she ran out of breath and remembered that they had to go supervise their daughter not eating all the cookies.
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09-20-2019
09:28 PM
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09-20-2019, 09:28 PM
[In-Character] [Post #433]
The idea to let Benji into his mind had Bucky hesitate for a moment. He agreed anyway. He owed it to her. What was happening here and now was probably freaking her out. With his inability to talk, to make sense of any of this right now, this was the least he could do. So he nodded and did not resist when he felt the familiar presence in his mind.

Bro-code, he thought. Benji knew better than to pry. If anything, he only came to deliver. Not to pick up.

And then it unfolded. A scene in his mind, about something that ought to happen years down the line. The moment he recognised what it was, it squeezed his heart. Bucky shut his eyes tightly, tears pushing out of their corners. His wife, pregnant with their second child. And Josephine … his first-born. The girl that would grow up into the most magnificent amazon. She was three and she was trying to make whilwinds.

When his hands went around Carol, he could feel the weight of her belly. Susannah would not wait much longer. Susannah. His little Suzy. Another girl. His heart jumped at the idea. And he knew he would go to bed with his wife later, enjoying late-pregnancy sex to try induce labour.

Bucky shifted, pushing back from the arm rest and seeking for her hand with his. He ended up in the middle of the bed, his bionic fingers interlocking with hers. He was on his back, staring up. “I’d like that,” he said. “Susannah,” he murmured and he could see it. Oh he could so see it in their future. Then he closed his eyes, he did what he could to work his bionic fingers but the fritz was there. He needed to have that checked soon.

Either way, his demeanour sobered.
“Do you even want this?” his voice was still hoarse as he asked the question. “With me?”

Then he returned to her offer before.

“My biggest fears. Is that nothing ever sticks. I’ll go back on ice and this will have been nothing. Suzy never comes. Like the wounds that don’t stay, you won’t either.”

He had more than one.

“That the next Lang will show up and I won’t be able to protect you.” He sucked in a heavy breath. “What am I good for if I can’t do that.” The question was rhetorical. He didn’t need an answer – and he didn’t need a hug for it either. He needed answers. He needed truths. He needed her to hear him because sleeping it away had been his MO, his modus operandi, for the past weeks.
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09-20-2019
10:31 PM
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09-20-2019, 10:31 PM
[In-Character] [Post #434]
Benji had drawn her in along, to watch the dream again, let her witness it with Bucky as it played in his mind. Seeing it for a second time, brought another smile to her lips. Blinking a few times, she pushed another thank you at Benji, and he silently brushed against her mind before he left them alone again.

Letting out a shuddering breath, she watched her husband move, and he was moving towards her. Without asking she reached out to him and his hand found hers, she squeezed her eyes shut, her heart doing a happy pitter-patter. Opening her eyes again, she looked at him and gave him a smile when he told her he’d like that. Yeah, she did to. But she wondered how the name Suzannah had made her way in her subconscious. Marie, was obvious, that was her mother’s name.

Carol blinked again, not quite sure if she heard right. Did he just ask if she wanted this with him? Did he still not get it? “Yes. That and more…” She whispered, not sure if she spoke at normal volume, she could do so without her voice breaking.

She let her thumb brush over his knuckles, Bucky finally deciding to tell her about his fears, and her heart reached out to him. He thought that she wouldn’t stay, that a second child would not be in the picture for him… that he would go back on ice. She softly squeezed his fingers, felt tears prick behind her eyes, and listened to what more he had to say.

And there it was, the inability to protect her from another Lang if one would show up.

Carol broke down, tears falling, and she just cried for all the pain he had gone through, for what they had been put through. Sobs pushed through, and she hid her face against her knees. She sat there, trying to process what he just had told her, try to give it a place inside.

“I’m still here, aren’t I?” She said finally through her tears. “And I’m not leaving you. You’re my everything.” Looking up from her knees, she took in a shuddering breath. “That dream? It’s one of a few I’ve been having lately, and they give me hope. Hope that this is our future.” She used her other hand to wipe at the tears on her face.

“We never stood a chance against that man, Buck. He would have mowed through our friends to get to us.” Lang had been resourceful, always a step ahead. And she wasn’t trying to sooth his fear, it was an observation. “He hurt us in the most horrible ways, but we survived. We’re here. We’re all here.” She used her sweater sleeve to dry her face some more, because those stupid tears kept falling.

Then she tipped her head a little and looked at him thoughtfully. “Do you think I don’t feel safe with you anymore?” She asked him honestly, wondering if that was part of the problem as well.
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09-21-2019
07:18 AM
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09-21-2019, 07:18 AM
[In-Character] [Post #435]
Bucky shifted in bed turning back towards Carol. His hand lay there, pushed towards her. She took the chance to make the connection and her fingers gently brushed across his knuckles. Bucky looked at it through half lidded eyes. He could bear this. He could accept this right now. A breath slipped past his lips.

Carol spoke, insisting that yes, she wanted this, him and more.

Then the tears came. Bitter sobs. She pulled herself into a ball. Regret lanced through him. Guilt. He was bringing her to this point. He pulled his fingers back, balling them into a fist. He couldn't move in this moment, couldn't push to her side. Too heavy sat the weight on his stomach. Too little was left to supply his body with the necessary energy.

“I'm sorry…,” He murmured.

Then Carol spoke. Her voice choked on her tears and the sound did have it's effect. Like a hand shaking him, urging him to pull things together. Her everything, Bucky mused, wondering what that even meant.

She spoke of the dream, that beautiful dream. Bucky closed his eyes. He could still see the images. Josephine. Not a young woman yet but a short legged toddler with the most adorable smile on her little face. And then Carol. Her body changed with a child ready to be birthed. He could still feel what he had felt. The equilibrium inside of him. The love. It all came out of a world where Lang didn't exist.

But Lang existed and he had sunk his claws into the both of them beyond repair.

Then Carol came full circle, speaking of Lang and how they had never stood a chance. This roused him, to a point at least. “ But how?” He asked, an anguished undercurrent in his voice. “Carol, how did we survive? Look at us… We're clawing at straws.” He had no idea where he was taking it from but suddenly he could summon the energy to sit.

“We're barely holding it together.” Well maybe the observation applied more to him than her. But it had not been that long since she hadn't even been able to look at him.

“Yes. Damnit yes he did,” He threw back when Carol pointed out that Lang had hurt them in the most terrible ways. “He raped you,” a shiver tore through him when he said it, unsettling his stomach. Bucky sat in one surge of movement. His feet on the ground much like earlier and his back to her. “He milked me in between electric shock therapy to further experiment on you.” His right was shaking badly when he brought it up to wipe it across his face.

“He used your pain against me. Mine against you. The sick fuck was good…” While swearing wasn't for him any normal day, nothing about this was normal. And for Lang he gladly made an exception.

When Carol asked about whether she still felt safe with him, Bucky's response somewhat exploded out of him. “That's the thing. You shouldn't!” Bucky was on the best way to reach shouting level. He pushed to his feet, then swayed. Suddenly beads of sweat stood on his forehead. He gripped his bionic arm as the sudden movement had jolted it rather painfully. A grunt followed. Then Bucky pushed forward and away from the bed.

“I couldn't protect you this time. What about next time? When some other sick fuck comes for you… Or Joy? Or any of the children we have. Because he can come back… Carol,” He called for her, turned. Hus eyes were wide with despair. He took his arm away from the left and pointed to the cabin wall. “The chance for him… It's still out there.”
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09-21-2019
10:14 AM
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09-21-2019, 10:14 AM
[In-Character] [Post #436]
Carol pulled her legs tighter against herself, still sitting in her corner of the couch turned bed. Her wet eyes were looking at her husband as he tried to make sense of how they even survived it all. How they were barely holding it together. She shivered, pushed up tighter into a ball and didn’t know how to answer him.

She watched him sit, and she wanted to reach out, touch him, tell him that he had been the reason that she was coping with this. Him and the child growing inside of her. Without them, she would have given up.

“But we are holding it together.” She pointed out softly, right before he agreed with how they had been put through horrible things by Lang’s hands. She shivered when he pointed out how she had been raped. She sometimes still could feel those hands on her body, gripping, bruising… Another shiver racked through her, and she pushed at the memories to go away.

Bucky moved, sat on the edge of the bed with his back to her, and then he threw out a little piece of information she hadn’t known. Lang had collected semen from her husband. To do further experiments on her. When you have birthed this abomination, you will give me more… The words were a slap to her face, and they made fully sense to her now. Where he had been adamant in terminating her pregnancy, he suddenly had been very keen in seeing her carrying full term.

Carol shuddered, not knowing what to do with this piece of information right now. It shook her to the core, thinking that they still had some of Bucky. Did that mean they had some of her as well?

That made her feel sick, truly to the bone sick.

Her gaze snapped up to her husband when he somewhat shouted at her that she shouldn’t feel safe with him and that made her frown. He pushed up from the bed, and he was on his feet, she heard his bionic arm whir, and it wasn’t the normal sound she had come to identify him with, come to love, something was wrong with it.

What he said next, made her finally move, she sat up straighter and she just looked at him until he turned around and faced her with eyes full of despair.

“But I do feel safe with you.” She threw back at him. “I can’t promise that there won’t be another Lang, another monster, who will try to come after us.” Carol sat up, pushed her knees under her and sat on them.

“Don’t you think I live with that fear as well? I haven’t ventured outside in weeks, and it’s not from lack of trying.” Cait had tried to coax her in just walking around the building, just to get some fresh air but the moment her friend had opened up the door, she had panicked and backed out. “I know the chance is there. Fuck don’t I know it.” She sat back, tired, so, so tired. After all, she had let Jamie Madrox go.

“But fuck that.” She then said. “I’m done living in fear, I don’t want to constantly think about who will come next for our family.” Because if she went down that road there would be no end towards destruction.

“We’re as safe as we can be at the moment, and for me that’s enough to get through the day.” She sighed, shaking her head. “But I know it’s not enough for you. So, you need to figure out what will.” Because what worked for her, didn’t work for him. She had been talking, a lot of talking, and figuring things out. Bucky was not a talker. The fact that he was now doing so to her, was a small miracle.

“You need to start to stop blaming yourself for something that was out of your control.” Her voice turned soft. “Because have you forgotten who was the stubborn one who couldn’t agree to stay inside?”
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09-21-2019
12:51 PM
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09-21-2019, 12:51 PM
[In-Character] [Post #437]
Bucky threw up his arms in exasperation when Carol insisted that she did feel safe. He did not understand. He did not think she was safe with him, how could she then? “Of course, you can’t,” he bit back when she spoke of not being able to promise their safety when another monster came knocking. “I know that.” He watched her push up and sit on her heels.

Then she continued to remind him of the fact that she had been unable to leave the theatre for weeks. Bucky had gathered as much even if at the time only on the periphery. She had avoided him like the plague during those times. Bucky ground his teeth together, his lower jaw protruding. He did it with such fervour that the areas below his ears soon became sore. It was an actual effort to unclench his jaws.

Carol went on, relenting to his pointing out that the chance for Lang was still out there. She suddenly looked extremely tired and he could not help wondering whether she regretted having asking of him to not kill him. But she tossed the notion aside as quickly as she had brought it up. “With him out there,” he pushed out and this time it was saying these words that took strength out of him. “I live in fear.” His gaze darkened as he looked to where she sat on the bed.

“Oh don’t you put that onto your shoulders … we gotta be able to leave the damned theatre,” he tossed at her when eventually she back-peddalled to load the guilt for it all onto her shoulders. “I get that. I get that there is no such thing as absolute security … and yet, I fear what might happen if I let you out of my sight for ten minutes. And I know that’s ridiculous, Carol. I know. Because at the same time, I’m faced with the sad fact that I won’t be able to do a fuckin’ thing about it even if I am there when you’re taken.”

His words came flying now. His volume growing as the sinews and muscles around his neck flexed. All of this was taking its toll.

“I don’t know how to figure this out … I don’t even know if there’s anything to figure out at all. All I know is that the one responsible for Lang walked. Walked without assuming responsibility for what he produced.” He huffed, breathing in and out a couple of times.

“Carol … If I can’t protect you, then what’s my job in this relationship? I’ve never felt more useless than now. Weaker, more inconsequential. What do I do?” He was holding out his arms, almost pleading with her now. “Yes I want to go out there. I want to find him and I want to put my hands to either side of his head and I want to push” - he gritted his teeth as he said this - “until the bone gives. I want him to die like we spent those two days. In extreme pain, with the end of it in plain sight. I want him to die.”

Bucky knew he was like an addict on drugs. Only the drug itself could bring him relief. After a high came a low, he knew this as well. Killing Lang would probably not solve his problems, but it would make him sleep more easily for the moment.

“I don’t know how to handle any of this …,” he admitted, his voice losing in volume. His arm fritzed again and Bucky winced.
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03:10 PM
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09-21-2019, 03:10 PM
[In-Character] [Post #438]
She knew that admitting to his fear out loud to her wasn’t easy, and she loved him even more for it. Carol knew which him he was referring too, and she felt partially guilty for letting Jamie walk out alive. Would they have been having this discussion now if he had been still imprisoned at the theatre?

“I agree, we should be able to leave the theatre, but I knew the threat to me, to us and didn’t take it seriously enough.” She gave a slight shrug, it had taken her a while to be realistic about this, the blame had been too overwhelming. The guilt all to consuming but she had come from a victim stand point, putting the blame solely on her. But they were not to blame, no Lang was. He was the sick bastard and she had killed him for it.

Her gaze softened when he continued, her Bucky, her husband who wanted to keep her safe at all cost. And she didn’t know how to achieve that. Didn’t know how to give him the absolute certainty that he wouldn’t lose her. That she wouldn’t be snatched up again. Which shouldn’t be possible anyway with her not going out. Just the thought of walking out of the doors of the theatre made her feel sick.

Carol sat back against the backrest of the bed, pushing her legs forward, and she looked down at her legs. Her fingers plucked at the hem of her sweater, her brows forming a little frown when he pointed out again that Jamie was out there. That he was skirting his responsibilities for creating Lang.

It all came down to that, didn’t it? She had told him not to kill Jamie, that those memories were punishment enough but…

Her head snapped up when he voiced the question about what his job was in this relationship if he couldn’t protect her. That actually angered her a little, did he think she just needed him for protection? That that was the only thing he was good at? The fact that it had sounded like a plea, stopped her from erupting. He wanted to kill Jamie, he wanted him dead.

And Carol knew in that moment that the only way her husband would get closure if that man didn’t exist anymore. She also knew that he had to be the one to do it. Much like she had done with Lang, he needed to do this with Jamie.

“I understand, Buck.” She told him. “More than anything I understand that.” But for now, she couldn’t utter the words that would allow him to end that man’s life. The core of her was to serve and protect, in a way that was still deeply ingrained in her and condoning a man to his death was a slippery slope. Part of her already knew what she was going to tell her husband, but she needed time to come to terms with what she would allow him to do.

He wanted closure, he needed it, and she would allow him that.

Carol’s gaze moved to his arm, watching it fritz again, he was in pain and she patted on the bed next to her. “I don’t know either, Buck, what I do know is that you don’t have to figure it out on your own.” They were a team, and it was time that he started to remember that again. “We’re in this together, I love you, and I hate that you’re standing so far away from me.” She told him honestly.

“Could you at least come sit on the bed?” If he wasn’t ready for her touch, she would understand, but she wanted him closer. Taking in a deep breath, she looked at him, and wished she could zap away his fears for him. But there were things in life you had to work through yourself, and this was one of these things, all she could do was be there for him.

“I wish I could make you understand that your ‘job’, as you eloquently put it, in this relationship is so much more than what you think it should be.” She murmured, waiting for him to come back to the bed. “I feel safe with you, because I know that it wasn’t your fault. I know that you wouldn’t hurt me, that you would do everything in your power to make sure I’m okay…” She pushed out a breath, looking at him.

“Even I can’t do shit when I’m pumped full of sedatives and a suppressant.” And she quirked a brow, challenging him to refute that. “He took the cowards way, because he knew that if you would have caught him, he would have died that day.” Crossing her arms in front of her chest, she looked at him with defiance in her eyes. “So, I’m going to rebut your statement of not being able to protect me.”
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09-26-2019
08:34 AM
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09-26-2019, 08:34 AM
[In-Character] [Post #439]
It felt strange to have said these things; to have them out in the open. So far, usually it had been Carol to figure these things out for him. She would put into words what he could not. To have said them himself this time … Bucky could not help feeling open, vulnerable. Another thing to amass on the pile of things he blamed Jamie Madrox for.

Carol went on, once more explaining that he needed to find ways to deal. However, she did not divulge on how he would do that. Bucky had an idea – and it involved removing a certain individual from the continent – bit by bit if that was what it took. He exhaled, trying to regain his bearing. It wasn’t fair to be shouting at Carol when she was as much dealing with the backlash of this as he was. She pointed out that he was terribly far away from the bed. He sighed. They were in this together. But Bucky did not step closer yet.

She appeared to pick up on his hesitation, verbalising her request for him to step closer just a few moments later. There was a silent plea in her eyes and Bucky pushed at himself. But the motions would not yet come. He stood, looking at the woman who wore his ring, wondering why suddenly he could not just get into this bed with her. Carol continued to speak, this time about his job. He exhaled in something almost rising to become a sigh.

She told him that she did feel safe with him. Bucky, in this moment, was not sure that this was what he wanted to hear from her. That this was what he wanted her to feel. Carol tried to take the feeling of guilt away from him – again, this was something Bucky wasn’t sure he wanted her to do.

He listened to her as she laid out how the both of them had been drugged to hell and back – and how even someone as powerful as Carol was helpless in the face of such a situation. Again, it did not remove the little voice in the back of his mind that insisted that he should have done better. He should have fought harder, been stronger, been more resilient. Something, anything. To protect wife and unborn child.

It was like the proverbial broken record. His arm fritzed and this time, Bucky swore under his breath when he gripped his shoulder. Eventually, he lowered his head. She had good argumentation. Bucky wondered why he was so stuck on the concept of helplessness; of uselessness. It slow burned in the pit of his stomach, obscuring itself with a thick sheet of anger. Bucky had no idea what to do with it.

He eventually drew closer to the couch, turned and dropped down onto it. He reached for his shoulder, digging his fingers into the tissue where it connected to the bionics. The entire region was sore. Exhaling, he suddenly felt just incredibly tired.

“I want him gone …,” Bucky whispered, his shoulder hunched and his head hung.
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09-26-2019
09:57 AM
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09-26-2019, 09:57 AM
[In-Character] [Post #440]
It was incredibly hard to see her husband like this, he wanted her to tell him what to do, she could tell by the way he kept looking at her like that, but she had no idea. She didn’t know what would make him feel better, what would make him see that he had done exactly what he was supposed to do.

Liar… You know what would help… The voice in her head whispered to her, but she couldn’t put him on that path. Couldn’t condone him killing a man just like that. But he isn’t just a man… That damn voice again. No, Jamie Madrox, wasn’t just any man, he was the living, breathing, original that had sprouted the horror that had tried to ruin their lives. Tried, because Carol was certain that they would get past this.

She would not become the Carol from Joy’s future. She would not let Lang get between her and Bucky. Never again.

The ache of wanting him closer grew, she didn’t like that he kept his distance. In her mind that could mean so many things, and as her still fractured soul wanted to remind her, it was because he was finally seeing the broken Carol, remembering what had been done to her, instead of the version of her now.

Which was bull. She knew that, but still that little nagging voice told her different. He’s done with you… This time the voice sounded very male, very much like Lang.

Pulling up her knees to her chest she wrapped her arms around her knees again, watching her husband gripping his shoulder as his arm fritzed again. Silence fell in the room, Carol didn’t know what to say or do to make him see that he should try and move past it, that she was there for him in any way, and that she did not blame him. In part because she blamed herself for this, but that was not something he wanted to hear.

When he finally decided to sit himself on the couch, she let out a shaky breath. Closer, but not close enough.

Carol moved without even realising she did, sitting on her knees behind him, her hand hovering over the skin that melded with metal, and it looked a bit inflamed. She didn’t touch, she wanted too, but her fingers came up short only inches away from his body.

“Then you do what you must do.” She told him, looking at his bionic shoulder and coming to the conclusion that her wishes would only hold him back in moving on. “I don’t want him dead, Buck, but…” there are others, she silently thought. Maybe that would work?

“You could get rid of people like him.” Her voice soft, she sat back on her knees, dropping her hand away from his back, and lowering her own head. Was she really telling him to do this? To get his closure, go after Jamie’s dupes?

Yes. Yes, she was.

“Make sure he truly can’t come back.” Closing her eyes, the urge to reach out, to touch him was overwhelming but she hadn’t forgotten the way her husband had reacted when she touched him last.
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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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