It was 1944 in Paris. Steve had just returned with Bucky from another successful mission. With Captain America’s shield and Bucky’s smile (and his flame thrower), they pierced through the enemy’s defence and got what their superior wanted, though not without bruises and wounds. They sneaked into their tent avoiding the notice of their comrade and the sergeant and changed into their usual uniforms. Steve washed his wound with the water in his bottle, and pulled bandage from the first-aid kit to wrap up the wound while Bucky did the same to himself. When Steve noticed the blood stains on Bucky’s uniform (Bucky was complaining with amusement that it would take hell of a time to clean up) and stared at him so long that Bucky had to ask, "Hey, why the long face?"
Steve asked, "Do you regret being called to the war...?"
"No. Why do you ask? Do you regret it? I tell you, . you won’t be able to leave me alone. Do you think I am useless? "
"No, of course not. I treasure you as my partner.”
“Then what do you worry about?”
“I choose to be Captain America. You don't choose to be the Bucky to Captain America. It’s not necessary for you to fight."
Bucky didn’t reply immediately, and when he did he said with a faint dark smile, "Hey, it can't be all game and play, right? Besides," he added, "What do I have to lose?"
Steve and Bucky were quiet for the minute until the sergeant's voice broke the silence, "You lazy two, come out!"
Bucky sighed, "Now this I really regret," He made himself ready and left the tent, followed by Steve.
He was woken up by two voices, one like the thunder and the storm, another civilized, reserved and educated.
“Bucky!” He jumped out of whatever he was lying on, but his legs were so weak that he faltered. He held onto the edge of the bed he was lying on to steady himself. What happened? Was he drugged? He looked around and saw that there was a robot and several people in colourful costumes. Who were they?
“Calm down. We’re friends” the flying woman said with a New York accent. But it could be a fake. Nazis were cunning like that.
But he had already given away Bucky’s name. He needed to be sure Bucky was all right. “Where ‘s Bucky?”
They hesitated. Then the robot said in the civilized voice he recognized, “I hope you’re ready for the news. You’ve been in the ice for sixty years. We won the War, and Bucky... Bucky and you were all listed as KIA.”
He couldn’t quite believe the words of these people in strange clothing. “Bucky was dead?”
“Yes I’m sorry.” The man speaking wore a white helmet with antennae, and in a brightly red shirt and pants. He moves nervously under Steve’s stare .
Steve wondered whether to believe them. On the one hand, it was far more reasonable to assume that it was a Nazis trap, on the other hand, the Nazis were far more sensible to sprout a lie like this. Moreover, he was quite certain that he was in some kind of underseas vehicle and the best chance to escape would be to pretend to cooperate.
“I’ve been in the ice? Did you pull me up?” He asked the robot.
“No, it’s a team effort.”
“Our honourable warrior here ought to hath refreshment,” the man with a hammer said. He was the man with a voice like thunder. It was the most sensible thing Steve heard ever since he had been woken up.
They told him more unusual things on the journey. People went to the Moon. There were phones so small that it could fit into a human hand. He would think that everything was an elaborated Nazis plan to trick him into surrendering all intel, but when they brought him back to New York and he saw the statue of Lady of Liberty, he was forced to believe it. When he landed, he noticed that everything changed. The New York he was born, lived and loved was changed so much that he might as well be a stranger. Namor was now an enemy, and Bucky... He lost everyone important, again.
The robot invited him to join their team called Avengers, and he clung to this invitation almost too gratefully. What life could he lead in a world that was advanced enough that he probably didn’t have a place any more? What could he lose for joining these apparently well-intentioned people? He had nothing to lose.
The doctor looked up from his documents. "I'm sorry to tell you that without the super soldier serum, your body 's now paying for past extreme exertion. With a careful life it may be all right, but it'll be fatal if you continue your life style."
"There's no way to reverse..." Steve said.
"No. The formula of the super soldier serum is lost forever, and modern medicine still doesn't have a way to replace it. Maybe I should contact Dr. Pym. He's after all..."
"Are you all right? I know it'll be a huge change. Do you need counseling?"
"Definitely not. I'll contact you later."
Steve left the laboratory, and feeling the cold of the city. It had been a lot of time for him to feel like he'd shiver. But the coldness of sharp wind was far warmer than his heart. He was losing everything again.
He thought of the day that he had volunteered himself to Project Rebirth. Up to then, he had nothing. Nothing to own, nothing to lose. Project Rebirth helped him to turn into Captain America, a symbol, a hero, and find a family in first the Invaders and the Avengers. But now he was going to lose everything.
He came into the street into the street in his uniform. He could sense the glance from the crowds of people, but he felt that he might as well be the only person in the world. He was cold, cold inside. Then he heard screaming and running at the end of the street. When he followed the sounds, the Enforcers were breaking into a jewellery shop. “”Scram, get the feck out!” The Ox shouted. He easily bent the light post and threw a guard to the road. Montana threw his lasso around another guard’s neck.
Steve took his shield and frowned because his body protested against the exertion. However he ignored it and threw his shield at Montana. He thought about the doctor’s advice and discarded it.
What did he have to lose?