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Live To Fight Another Day

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Everything hurt.

And by everything, he meant everything. There wasn't a place on his body that didn't feel like he had sandpaper and acid rubbing up against it. Nasty feeling, that. Whatever he'd been stuck with wouldn't let him die and he'd felt like he was going to crawl out of his skin as the gashes healed over. Healing as fast as he did now meant that it felt like ants were crawling over his skin until things scabbed over. If he scratched, it only itched more. You learned not to scratch. You learned not to do anything at all, because the fuckheads guarding the door might think you were going to escape again. If they thought you were going to escape again, they'd beat you half to death with their guns and then go make Winter scream for a few hours.

They wouldn't make him scream. Someone in the higher ups had figured out that Brock was pretty fucking resistant to pain. What got him, though, was hearing the reason why he got into this mess screaming bloody murder and pleading for mercy. Not that mercy ever came. Getting tortured was something Brock came to expect during his tenure as a captive. Things happened. It was the name of the game, shit he signed up for when he put his name on the dotted line, just like every other ex-military guy in here. At the time, Brock figured that they would patch up his shoulder and he'd serve a few years and go home. It was a cushy government job and he could make a few hundred thousand easy before heading down south.

Yeah, right. Because he showed up, with those fucking blue eyes and long brown hair. Eyes that didn't understand what the hell was happening to him or why he hurt so much. Eyes that looked like the scared dog Brock had coaxed out of a gutter when he was twelve. Turned out the dog was ex-fighting and working with that was pretty similar to working with the Winter Soldier. No sudden moves, food, and a half decent place to sleep. Presto, he had his own loyal to the death bodyguard. It was just like being twelve and dealing with the bullies in school, though this time he had the fucking Winter Soldier, not a beat up old Tosa Inu with an attitude problem.

The dog, though, never got him in this much trouble. Not even when Jackie Boy tore the neighbor's Rottweiler to shreds.

Brock tried to curl up as best he could to save heat. They're stripped him naked and every so often, someone would douse him with a bucket of cold water. Probably to get the smell off, but it was their damn fault for keeping him in a cell with no hot water and a bucket to piss in. Lying on cold concrete wasn't exactly good for his old bones, but you did what you had to do. They'd taken his cot after he tried to hang himself with the material. That little message was loud and clear - Brock could die when they wanted him too, but not before. Escape wasn't exactly likely, seeing as he'd lost his left leg at the knee. That was a present from trying to escape and damn near succeeding.

Twenty feet and he would have been out the doors and into the busy street. Twenty feet and he would have gotten Captain America himself to kill these fucks before he dropped off the face of the earth. Twenty feet and he wouldn't have to listen to Winter scream every time they did something to his head or fucked him in creative ways. Unlike Brock, Winter healed himself within ten minutes and didn't die from a thing like an infection. And unlike Brock, Winter had no idea what he'd done or why this was happening to him. Brock did and it was his own damn fault. He'd fucked up. He'd let Project Insight go to hell and let some crazy bastard from level two kill Pierce. As much as he hated the man, Pierce tended to reward fuck ups with the firing squad, not turning it into "stress relief" for the STRIKE teams.

Yeah, he deserved this. Deserved it for not watching his back, for forgetting who and what he worked for, and for getting himself in this mess. He'd known that his team didn't like him before all this, but not to the actual extent they despised him. Yeah, he was a hard ass. Yeah, some of them deserved it. And yeah, he'd let Winter loose on a couple of them. Didn't let Winter kill them, but he let Winter scare the shit out of them. It was only fair, fucking up a mission like that. Better to get scared straight by Brock's personal attack dog rather than get dragged out in a body bag and sent home in a can. Brock might not have been a good person, but he hated killing for the sake of killing.

Rollins was into that shit. Not him.

Someone kicked on the bars of his cell, giving Brock a nasty look. "You finally decided to shut your trap?"

"You finally decided to grow a brain?" Brock pulled himself up as best he could, cursing from the limited mobility. When he got out, he was going to napalm the entire place. Fuck HYDRA and fuck SHIELD. If Captain America got caught in the crossfire, it sucked to be him. He gave whoever it was a crooked grin. He wasn't beaten. Not yet. No matter what they did. "Looks like you got your cue cards from goat herders in Afghanistan.  You gonna kidnap Tony Stark next? Seems right up your alley!"

The man growled and grabbed the bars. "Why you little - !"

"Bars work both ways, moron," Brock retorted. His ribs did something that really hurt and he groaned, sinking down as best he could. His leg was still oozing blood and what he wouldn't give for a cigarette right about now. "You finally figure that out? Or did taking a fall off a helicarrier break your brain?"

The man roared and a light flashed green. Brock groaned and braced himself for the beating. The guy probably wouldn't fuck him. They usually showed him down for that, as Brock had made a habit of getting himself filthy, but that didn't mean he wasn't going to get beaten. He braced himself as best he could when the boot smashed through his ribs. The guy started shouting something that wasn't English and next thing he knew, more screams joined his. Brock gritted his teeth. He added this asshole to his hit list and wished he had more strength so he could test out Fischer's augments a little more thoroughly. Doing that required food, though, and Brock couldn't remember the last time he'd eaten.

A rifle butt smashed into his face, freezing him. Brock gasped some and that was when he was hauled up by his wrists. Collier grabbed him and yanked on his hair, forcing the injured man down. Brock fought them as best he could, more from instinct than any hope he might escape, and sunk his teeth into Collier's wrist. The resulting lashing was worth the man's screams and Brock felt his mind start to float under the pain. He didn't fight it. He could come back to reality later. Dreaming about the fucking Winter Soldier was a hell of a lot better than getting whipped by someone he once trusted with his life.

He was going to kill Collier. And the man who owned a horsewhip. He was going to kill both of them creatively.