“Cap! Watch out!
Steve caught his shield and turned to see what Sam was yelling about. His eyes focused just as a needle plunged into his neck. He collapsed almost immediately grabbing at his neck as he screamed in pain. All he could feel was fire burning in his veins.
While Steve was writhing in pain Natasha and Sam quickly took out the rest of the Scientists in order to keep them from destroying the files. Natasha was frantically typing, trying to keep the failsafe from destroying all the information. ‘Come one, come on, come on’ she repeated frantically to herself. Smiling slightly, she stopped the virus. Sticking a thumb drive into the port, she downloaded all the information she could.
“Natasha!” Sam yelled “He’s having a seizure! Call for a med evac!”
Speaking into her comm she called the rest of the team.
Clint responded “I’ll be there with Banner in 5, how bad is he hurt?”
“I don’t know; he was hit with something and now he’s having a seizure. Just hurry up.”
She went over to where Cap was suddenly eerily still. She checked his pulse, letting out a small breath of relief when it was strong and regular. He was still laying
so still, chest barely moving.
“Natasha, where is he?” Bruce came over and checked his pulse “Did you find what they got him with?”
“I’m not sure what the virus erased from the computer but the vial is over here.” She grabbed the vial and gingerly handed it to Bruce.
“Let’s load him up and get him back to the tower. We need to figure out what he was injected with.”
Steve woke up in the med bay feeling strangely weak. There was in incessant beeping that normally would’ve woken him, but once again succumbed to sleep
before he could think too much about it.
The next time he jolted awake grabbing his neck and panicking. His heart monitor was going crazy as several med bay staff ran in. Natasha was right behind
“Nat! What happened? The last thing I remember was a prick and so much pain before waking up.”
“Steve, that was a week and a half ago. You’ve been in a coma since you got back to the tower.” She said bluntly. Steve sat there when trying to wrap hi head around it.
Bruce walked in. “Good to see you awake, Tony and I have been trying to figure out what was in the vial. So far it’s pretty unrecognizable. Maybe something Alien, we’re not sure. Natasha could you step out I need to examine Steve?” Natasha nodded and strode out as Bruce started examining Steve.
“What about the information from the computer?”
“The failsafe on the computer destroyed most of the information about what they gave you. We did find some information about The Winter Soldier.” Explained Bruce
“Bucky.” Steve corrected quickly
“Right, sorry.” Bruce replied “Physically you seem to be fine but you should take it easy for the next few days. If you notice anything let us know. We’ll keep working on it.”
“I will. Any idea when I can get out of here?”
“The doctor if bringing the paper work then you need to meet with Hill.” Natasha said walking back into the room.
“Did you by chance grab me any clothes?” he asked.
She tossed a bag at him, “figured you’d want something more than Shield sweats.” She walked back out so that he could get dressed.
“Did you get me a new shirt? This one feels loose.” Steve asked in a slightly annoyed tine. “My normal shirts fit just fine.”
“No Jarvis let me into your apartment and I picked out one of yours. Maybe Tony thought it would be funny to switch all your shirts out. I guess you should feel lucky it’s not all Iron Man merchandise,” she said with a smirk.
“Is Hill in her office?” he asked pulling at his shirt.
Natasha smacked his hand. “Stop fidgeting, it looks the same as yesterday. I promise you’re still pretty.”
As he walked into the office he heard her muttering ‘worse than Clint’ under her breath.
The next day Steve got up at his normal time to go on his run. He had texted Sam the night before to see if he wanted to go on run. Sam arrived at the tower to as Steve was finishing getting ready.
“Hey man, how you feeling? Really freaked us out on the mission”
“I fine. This is the longest I’ve been out since they got me out of the ice. It took much less time to get caught up this time.”
“Funny. Don’t do that again. They ever figure out what was in the syringe?
“No but I feel fine and I’ve had every test they can think up, so I guess either it didn’t work or my body metabolized it when I was out. My blood work didn’t come back any different.”
“Well while you’ve been slacking I’ve still been running. Who’s gonna lap who?”
“Ha ha ha. Let’s just see.”
They took off for Central Park, which was still fairly empty at this time of the morning. Steve started off at his normal pace searching for that freeing feeling of running, He ran the first couple of miles before slowing down. He felt a sharp pain in his side and chest. He tried to ignore it, but it became steadily worse, until he needed to rest. He slowed down crouching over in pain. It seemed to get worse and worse like he couldn’t get enough air into his body.
Sam saw Steve crouched and ran over “Man are you okay?”
“My side and chest. It aches.”
“Can you stand up?”
Steve nodded and stood straight. “Put your hands on your head and tell me if that help.” Steve did as Sam asked and started to breathe easier. He hadn’t been that winded that fast in 70 years.
“Man, you okay? I don’t think I’ve ever seen you actually winded.”
“Yeah, just give me a minute” he started walking around with slowly catching his breath.
“I think we should call it a day. This is not normal; you should probably check in with medical.”
“Maybe, let’s see how I feel when I get back to the tower. I feel fine, I just got a little winded. I’m sure it’s no big deal.”
“Whatever man, but if I have to haul your ass back to the tower I’m going to be pissed” he said.
“Let’s get back anyway, I want to go over the footage of the bases that have been destroyed, by Bucky. So far he hasn’t left much information so far, and there’s no discernible pattern yet.
“Man, I’m all for finding Bucky, but maybe he isn’t ready to be found yet?”
“I can’t just leave him out there. I have to get him back.”
“I get it. I would do just about anything to get Riley back. He was my best friend; no one should have to lose their best friend.”
Steve turned to him and gave him a comforting squeeze on the shoulder. “Come on, I’ll buy breakfast.”
“Damn straight, I don’t get paid enough to feed you.”
Steve laughed “I’m not as hungry as I usually am, probably because I only ran as far as you today.”
“That’s how it’s gonna be?”
“Yeah,” he said with a smirk
They we chatting about nothing as they walked to the diner, the diner looked like it had come right out of Brooklyn in the 40’s and Steve loved it. As he walked in
and Sat at his usual table Mavis walked over with two cups and come coffee.
“Morning Mavis looking lovely today”
“No so bad yourself soldier. And who is this fine lookin man with you.
“Sam Wilson ma’am”
“And what can I get for you Sam?”
“I’ll have the special, thank you”
“The usual for you Steve?”
The duo ate their breakfast before heading back to the tower. Maria had some questions about Steve and some possible lead on Bucky.
After his meeting with Hill about what had happened he went to his room in the tower to finish up some of the paperwork that had piled up over the last week
and a half.
He worked on paper work for a couple of hours before he started feeling off. He didn’t want to go through any more tests, so he decided to go to the gym. Work off the weird feeling. He went down to the gym that was built to look like a 1940’s gym, he was pretty sure it was meant to be a joke but it was the only place that he liked working out in. It reminded him of Bucky trying to teach him to defend himself.
He started his workout, pushing himself harder than he normally did. He started to think about all the things that has happened to Bucky, if he had saved him what would’ve happened? If he couldn’t save his best friend could he save anyone? His thoughts were racing around his head until he couldn’t get air into his lungs. He fell to the ground gasping for air. In the distance he could hear Jarvis calling out to him. He finally blacked out into a dreamless sleep.
Steve felt like he was underwater, but he didn’t have the strength to break the surface and wake up. The steady beep of the heart monitor was the last thing that he heard.
The second time he woke up he could focus more clearly but the sounds around him seemed more muted that than they usually were. Still totally normal but lacking for him. Opened his eyes and did a mental check, he felt mostly okay but still a little off. He couldn’t remember being this tired.
He looked to the side and saw Sam dozing in his chair. Looking outside he saw that it was dark out, he closed his eyes for a minute and slipped back under.
He woke up to the sound of breakfast being brought in to the room. He slowly opened his eyes and reached for the remote to sit up in the bed.
“I know the nurses are pretty but there are easier ways to see them.”
“Still trying to find me a date Nat?”
“Someone needs to”
“Where’d Sam go?”
“He needed to stop by his apartment and change, you’ve been in here since yesterday.”
“I’ll leave that to Banner” Nat said as the door opened.
“Steve, good to see you awake, how are you feeling?”
“I feel okay, Still tired. What happened, I remember going to the gym and then I woke up here.”
“Jarvis alerted us yesterday when he couldn’t get your attention. You were having a panic attack and it lead to what looks like an asthma attack. When we got
there you were unconscious and struggling to catch your breath. The medical team couldn’t get you to calm down so they gave you a sedative.”
“Okay, well how much sedative did they give me? I usually burn through it so fast that it barely knocks me out.”
“You got the correct dose, based on what has been giving to you and your metabolism, it shouldn’t have taken so long to burn off. It was closer to how a man you
size would metabolize it.”
“Do you have any idea what’s causing it?”
“Well I’ll need to take more blood to see if anything has changed. Can I take another sample of blood?”
“Of course Bruce, I trust you.”
“Of course this gets destroyed as soon as the tests are done. There are some things that shouldn’t be released. It’s a miracle that what made you, you, wasn’t
released in the information dump.”
“Howard was the only one with the information. He promised that he was going to destroy it Erskine died. The serum died with him.”
Bruce nodded, looking slightly downtrodden. He went and got the needle to take the sample.
I’ll go and see what I can figure out.”
“This shouldn’t take too long so if you could stay close that would be beneficial. Eat some breakfast I’m sure you’re starving.”
“Actually, not really, I’m a little hungry but nothing like I usually am.”
“Umm…okay? Well I’ll be back as soon as I can.” Bruce walked off looking slightly confused.
Steve was sitting in his apartment finishing his paperwork when Jarvis interrupted him.
“Dr. Banner is requesting your presence in the lab. It seems most urgent.”
“Okay, can you let him know that I’m on my way up?”
“Right away Captain.”
Steve pressed the elevator, it was moving unusually slow for the tower so he went for the stairs. The labs were up several floors. Steve went full speed up the stairs, making it up 3 flights of stairs before having to catch his breath. He bent over and focused on catching his breath. He was reminded of living in a walk up, always trying to pretend he wasn’t winded so Bucky wouldn’t worry. He walked up to the next landing and on to the floor to take the elevator the rest of the way
He made it to Bruce’s lab after taking a minute to make sure that he didn’t look winded, there was no use in worrying anyone, he was fine, he thought to himself.
He walked into the lab and immediately noticed Bruce looked worried. Shuffling papers and murmuring to himself.
“Bruce” he said, when it got no response he said a little louder “Bruce”. There was no response. Putting on his ‘Captain Voice’ he tried one more time, “BRUCE!”
“Steve! Sorry, I was just going over this, again. Its changed each time I’ve looked at it and I’m not sure what that means.”
“What do you mean changed? Changed how?”
“Your cells are not responding how they should. When you got the serum, it changed everything. You were changed on a cellular level, your DNA forever altered.
Whatever they gave you is undoing what Erskine’s Serum did to you.”