Stopping to stabilize his breath, Bucky's body sweltered with sweat as his hands pressed against his knees for support (after completing his daily exercise routine) to prevent the man from keeling over.
'Oh God, i must've really lost track of time, Steve will be troubling himself wondering where I am! Oh well I'll make my way back now'
Regaining composure, he sauntered the long way home to the Avengers Tower, taking in the more alluring sights of the 'Big Apple'... Well that was until he was stopped in his tracks.
"Please stop! Please, I am begging you, it hurts!" - A voice in the distance whimpers attempting to reason with his attacker. Bucky considers whether or not the cry is genuine - maybe it was just some teenagers having there own standards of fun.
As loud and sudden as a gunshot, a blood-curling scream immediately grabs Bucky's attention - who instantaneously figured this wasn't the victim of a mess about. Frantically, he forages to find the vulnerable soul waiting to be rescued. Worrying about what could - NO - what will happen if he doesn't find the attackers prey in time, Bucky identifes the anxiety rushing through him as he feels useless wanting nothing more than to help.
"You're going to do what I say kid or I'll kill ya and dump your body in the river - it's not as if anyone will come looking for you anyway" the other voiced called out in a menacing and sinful tone. "Now be a good, little boy and help your daddy here". The harrowing voice laughed out as he had his sufferer exactly where he wanted him.
Bucky examines his surroundings. Left first and then swiftly turns his head right gazing into the dark, sopping alley to see a man - a rough, overweight and tall brute - laughing as he channeled his power and weight into governing the minor to do exactly what he wanted. The young boy was squirming to get away from the hellish situation he was currently pinned into. Bucky's heart dropped into his stomach as he ran down the dingy area (as fast as humanely possibly) to be left alarmed and disgusted by what the man's intentions were. The thug had managed to tear the boy's already ripped jeans away from his body, about to remove the lower layer and complete his exploitation of the fragile junior...
A rage takes over Bucky's mind, he hadn't felt this way since looking out for Steve all those years ago. Bucky reaches out just in time to grapple the monster hurling him 10 feet in the opposite direction. The criminal pounds into the ground - falling into a deep concussion eliminating the immediate threat and serving the criminal a small part of the justice he deserved.
"Send the police to Evans Boulevard. They have a criminal that needs to branded with justice" He demanded to his mysterious contact on the other end.
Bucky eyes trailed from the man turning his focus to the young teen - wanting to tell him everything will be okay, that he's safe now - but he couldn't guarantee that despite his good intentions.
Bucky reaches out - he wanted to help, no he needed to help. The youngster was mortified, attempting to scoot back away from Bucky. Failing to move away he instead exposes his cuts, his scars, his broken arm. Bucky's world was turned upside-down. Horror could clearly be seen in the child's deep, brown puppy eyes that had melted Bucky's heart, which was a very rare occasion (especially considering it was Bucky).
"Hey come on kid, you're not going to get anywhere like that. Please let me help", as gently as he could, Bucky once again reaches his arm out - only for the teenager to cower away. "Please, please don't make me beg, you need help or at least let me take you home. Where do you live?". He poured his emotions out to the child. It usually took Bucky longer to care for someone, it did for Steve, but this kid was unique. He was different. Bucky felt a personal responsibility to cradle him and protect him from all dangers they could possibly face.
Failing to get through, the child stands turns and runs out into the streets - into one of the busiest roads in Manhattan, narrowly missing the oncoming traffic. Bucky gave chase, but there was no way he'd be able to get pass the bus in time, so halts to a stop. As the bus departs, Bucky glares into the road and to the other side and the boy had completely vanished - disappeared out of sight. Bucky began to panic (even more than when he thought he lost Steve forever - after he sacrificed himself to stop Hydra from bombing New York), but what could he do? He didn't have a clue where the kid ran off too. He leaves the street and heads back to Avengers Tower filled with shame and fearful of what could happen to the child all alone in the city.
Later back at Avengers Tower...
Bucky enters the elevator still filled with shame, fear and panic. "Welcome home Mr Barnes", the automated voice of Friday called out.
"Not now Friday, please I'm not in the mood for this", he returned.
"Okay, sorry Mr Barnes" - Friday knew better than to push Bucky for answers when he was in a foul mood like this.
The doors open again allowing him to enter his and Steve's apartment.
"Hey Buck, where have you been, I was starting to get worried" - Steve was relieved to see Bucky was back home.
"Steve, I can't stay. I've come to get changed and I'm going back out there. Please understand - I will explain everything when I get back". Bucky rushed to get changed as quick as he could.
"Wait Buck, tell me what's going on?" Steve vocalised his worry for his partner.
"Steve, not now - I really got to go!" Bucky blared out as he left their apartment to carry on his search for the boy.