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Holding Out For a Hero.

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Chapter One: The Winter Soldier and the Child-Genius.

Four-year-old Sophia Parker held onto the hand of her Uncle, Ben Parker, as he walked through the crowded walkways of the New York Zoo, a little way in front of them was her twin brother, Peter Parker, and Aunt May, who was holding his hand. Sophia was carrying a stuff panda bear and wearing a heart-shape locket around her neck, her Uncle Ben had bought her the Panda and Peter a stuff spider as an birthday present. They arrived at the elephant pen and Sophia and Peter pushed her away towards the front of the crowd, in order to see the elephants better. Ben and May could still see their twin niece and nephew from their spot, the two adults were both wary about raising the ninth month twins when their parents, Ben's brother and sister-in-law, were killed in a plane crash, since neither of them had experience in raising children. But now, they were happy that they got the twins, Peter and Sophia were a delight to be around. Peter was shy out of the twins, while Sophia was social out of the two, but they were both talkative towards family and people they were close to. Sophia was the one who would seek out friendship and companionship with children their age, she was outgoing and bubbly, able to make friends easily, while Peter was quiet and nervous around other children their age. But he would follow Sophia's lead and play with the other children, it can be said that Sophia was the scout before telling Peter it was safe to play with the other children.

The Parker Family live in a small yet charming apartment unit, it had a master bedroom, two spare bedrooms and another bathroom. The twins had the two spare bedrooms adn shared the bathroom. They were quite happy in the apartment unit, they were able to live comfortable with Ben's job as a mechanic and May's job as a waitress. They were able to do anythings, together, as a family. They were a typical happy and loving family, cherishing and caring for each other.

Ben and May spend a lot of time with Peter and Sophia, in order to form a strong and unconditional love and connection between them all, in order to make them a true family. While the twins don't remember their parents, Ben and May had told them about them, so that they know who they're parents are and how much they were loved by their parents. Peter and Sophia are pretty close, they have the twin bond that twins are rumored to possess, able to sense each other emotions and know what the other is thinking. Peter and Sophia are joined at the hip, always seen together and play with each other. 

Peter and Sophia are both intelligent, reading books beyond their school level, but they behaved like any typical four-year-old, playing, acting silly and getting into mischief. The twins love science and other things that require them to use their brains to puzzle it out. Though, many children doctors have told Ben and May that their niece is freakishly intelligent, calling her a child genius, and want to see how intelligent she is but Ben and May have turned down that offer, not wanting Sophia to be treated any different and put a damper on the twins' relationship with each other. Ben and May have raised Peter and Sophia to be good team players, not be overly competitive. 

The bond between Peter and Sophia is extraordinary, never getting into fights, they still have their disagreements but it never gets to go further than that. They always forgive each other, and never holds grudges against each other. Most parents are surprise when they hear that Peter and Sophia are great together, never getting into fights, and they wondered if it was because they were twins and their majorly different personalities help with keeping the peace between them. They are able to feel each other's emotions and know what the other is thinking, their Uncle and Aunt know for sure that the twin bond is real and strong with their nephew and niece.

Sophia notice movement from the right of her and glanced over to see a man standing halfway in the shadows, she titled her head to the side as she watched him. Despite her young age, Sophia was aware that the man was out of place here in the Zoo, with the other families. The man must have noticed that she was watching him because he turned and moved away. Now, despite being aware of the man's strangeness, Sophia was curios little four year old and like another typical four-year-old, she followed him. Neither her Uncle and Aunt or older twin brother saw her leave.

Sophia followed the man, unaware that the man was leading her to a more deserted part of the zoo, her whiskey brown eyes were trained on the man's departing back as she followed them deeper into the zoo. 

The Winter Soldier knew that the target was following him still, he could hear the soft foot fall of her shoes behind him. His handlers wanted the four-year-old, according to them, she was a real child-genius, a prodigy, and they wanted her under their control and watch. He led the target to a deserted part of the zoo before he stopped and turned to face her. The little target stopped as well and titled her head back in order to stare into his face.

The Winter Soldier found himself staring into the eyes the color of whiskey, expressive eyes filled with curiosity and wonder but something told him those eyes can also see into his soul, they were that intense. The little target blinked those whiskey brown eyes at him owlishly before she moved closer to him, the movement made him tense despite him being in the presence of the four-year-old. She titled her head to the side and took a small step forward, stopping and slowly raising her arm to him, her palm pointed upward and her fingers pressed tightly together. 

The Winter Soldier stared down at the little target in bewilderment, none of his targets have ever done this to him but than again, he never had to secure a four-year-old target before and his other targets were adults and he had been ordered to kill. But this time, his target was a little girl and he was ordered to take her alive. He couldn't help if this fearlessness that she possess is due to her innocence and age, children were famous for being curious little tykes. He stared down at her before he slowly, cautiously walked towards, closing the gap between them. 

The Winter Soldier stopped before her, causing the little target to tip her head back in order to keep her eyes on his face, and dropped down to one knee before her. The four-year-old target still had her arm up, waiting patiently for him to come to her, as if he was a skittish animal. Again, he was struck by the unique behavior of the child before him, she was waiting patiently for him and patient and children do not mix, children do not know the meaning of that word, so he was pretty bewildered by her patience towards him.

The Winter Soldier jolted when he felt a small, soft pressure against his cheek and his eyes dropped to the side to see that the small target had placed her hand on his cheek, cupping it with the palm of her hand. His eyes went back to the little target and found her smiling at him, the Winter Soldier watched as she removed her hand from his face and reached behind her head with both hands. He watched as the target removed a chain from around her neck and revealing a beautiful 14K white gold, oval-shaped locket necklace. She grabbed his metal arm with the hand that had touched his cheek, gently, and held the necklace in the other. The Winter Soldier allowed the little target to raise his arm up and turned his hand around, so that his palm was facing upward. 

The Winter Soldier watched as she placed the locket on his palm and released his hand, she looked at him and grasped in both of her small hands. He stared at the locket before raising his eyes to face, examining it more better now that he was this close to her. She was pretty little four-year-old, with wavy, long dark caramel brown hair and whiskey brown eyes, her hair and eyes color perfectly suited her porcelain skin color and the light brown freckles that is faintly sprinkled across her cheekbones. She sweet and obviously kind, and a little too sharp for someone her age. The Winter Soldier knew that she is given him her locket necklace in order to make friends with him, and to ease the pain inside him.

The Winter Soldier asked her, in English. "Is this for me, котёнок?"

The target simply smiled and nodded her head, staring at him. The Winter Soldier stood, clenching his fingers around the locket, forming a fist, staring down at the target before him. Now, the Winter Solider knew that he couldn't take her back to his handlers, to HYDRA. He knew HYDRA would break her, taint that innocence that she has with evil and blood. He couldn't let her go through that, not what they did to him. He didn't want to see her lose that innocence, that fearless, that naivety and that trusting nature that she has. It would kill him if that happens, she was perfect as she was now.

The Winter Soldier glanced up when he heard her relatives calling her name and the target, Sophia, turned to glance over her shoulder. He reached out and laid his metal hand on top of her head, causing Sophia Parker to turn her head back and looked up at him. He ran his thumb across her forehead than he placed that hand on her shoulder and turn her around, giving her a light push towards the direction of their voices.

The Winter Soldier mumbled as she looked back at him. "Go, котёнок, your family is looking for you."

Sophia stared at him before she turned and ran towards the voices of her Uncle and Aunt, leaving behind the lonely and sad man.

Ben Parker was the first to spot Sophia and he rush towards her. "Sophia May Parker, where did you go?"

Sophia said as he scooped her up in his arms. "I saw a man."

May Parker came to their side with Peter holding onto her hand. "And you followed him?! Sophia, he could have hurt you!"

"But he didn't, Aunt May." Sophia said. "He was sad and lonely."

Ben and May looked at each other and smiled bemused at her comment. Sophia had a big heart for one so small, she was always walking off from their side in order to talk to the homeless people and soothe their sadness and lonesomeness with her presence. They have tried many times to get her to stop but Sophia would not be stop, she was too determine to help them. 

Ben sighed and kissed his niece on her cheek. "I know, baby girl, but you made your Aunt May and I worry when you suddenly disappeared from our sight."

Sophia crookedly smiled at her uncle. "I'm sorry, Uncle Ben, Aunt May."

Aunt May smiled at her before placing a chaste kiss on her cheek. "Good, now let's see more animals, okay?"

Sophia and Peter cried out, together. "Okay!!!"

The Parker family walked away, once they were a good distance away from the area, the Winter Soldier step out from the shadows, in order to watch them. But his eyes were on the four-year-old girl, still in her Uncle's arms, the sweet little girl who won the loyalty and devotion of the Winter Soldier by simply being kind and compassionate to him.

The Winter Soldier whispered, "I'll see you around, котёнок." Before he turned and disappeared into the shadows.