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Hold On to the Light

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All characters belong to Marvel Comics

I own nothing


"Your name is James Buchanan Barnes,"

The world he knew had become a crimson miasma around him, torturous tension pounded against his skull. His face was a sweaty mess of aggression, smudges of maroon were etched over his sharp cheekbones; agony was digging deeper through muscles and frozen bone.

"Shut up!" Bucky unleashed a shrilling noise, gathering a metallic taste of venom pouring down the raw walls of his throat. He had become immune to the fetor of blood, he welcomed it inside his body, but smell of noble blood pouring out of the man dressed in the colors of American flag, his weakening body on the edge of serrated metal, it became invasive, familiar and heart-wrenching.

Suddenly, he felt himself slipping into the void, sparks of fire surrounded him and roars of metal numbed his ears. Every fiber of his slender frame became scorched, blood churned in his veins and tears blurred his eyes. He'd been given the orders to terminate the soldier looking directly up at him, kill the man and complete his mission.

Kill him.

Fuming out heavy gulps of air, allowing the smoke to scrape over his lungs, the metal hand lifted and pushed the pieces of debris; he stared up and met the glistening pools of cobalt. His alloy knuckles clenched and heart drummed erratically, thudding against the bones of his bruised ribs. He struggled against the vexing orders consuming his mind—struggled to break the chains that had locked away his sanity—his wounded soul.

Wind slashed over his face, brushing relentless heat over the welts of blood on his gleaming forehead. The pain of dislocated bones grew numb in his right arm, he lurched to his feet, seething against clenched teeth and glared at his target with feral, molten and livid sky blue colored eyes, flames of animosity burned in the darkness of his pupils.

"I'm not going to fight you, Buck," Steve said, with a defeated cadence in his soft voice. He had let go and dropped his shield and allowed it to fall into the murky gray abyss beneath them. His breath was fading, body functions betraying his resilient spirit and bright maroon leaked over the chiseled lines of his battered face. He fought to remain balance as he panted for breath; locking his soulful blue eyes on him.

Steve lowered his head slightly, staring with tear filled eyes. "You're my friend. No matter what they've done to you." He declared his pained, breathless voice carried against the amber sparks flying through the invisible division between them.

I'll kill you. Bucky's thoughts raced, he reacted to those words of truth, feeling them break out the barriers of HYDRA.

His mind snapped and soul ripped—-he gnashed his teeth as his lungs exploded with cold fury, he charged and lunged at Steve, tracking him and ramming his forcefully into long piece of steel. His eyes stung with hate and rage controlled his emotions. "I'll finish you!" he roared, jostling Steve hard on his back.

His metal hand reached up shadowing over water blue eyes, blood pulsed and muscles coiled.

He lowered his head and growled, strands of brown hair flopped over his brow and teeth bared."You're my mission!" He rammed his fist into the bones of Steve's face—metal dug into the flesh, his blue eyes vicious and angry as he kept on punching, looking at Steve's head jerk back with every bone. "YOU'RE MY MISSION..." he lashed out uncontrollably.

He slammed the back of Steve's skull into the pane of glass. Agony poured out of him, dark chin length hair became drenched and his vision had gone blind with smothering water. He paused for a second, looking at the damage his fist caused on Steve's angelic face.

Steve managed to open his swollen eyes up, "Then finish it," he spoke, his voice rough and strangled. His lips smeared with blood. "Because I'm with you until the end of the line, Bucky Barnes." he choked out blood, his eyes fluttering close and face paling into the color of snow.

The Winter Soldier froze when those words touch his heart, his face went vacant, heavy jaw dropped and his full, boyish and grimacing lips parted, no words escaped as he stared down at Steve with a haunted and broken gaze of teary deep blue eyes under the stands of hair. His heart sank, and soul burned, his eyes widened with a heart-shattering recollection.

Steve?

His chest heaved with pain, his hand tried to caress his friend's battered face, but structure beneath their bodies gave away and he watched Steve fall, he tried reaching out his hand to grab his friend —but it was already too late—Steve's body crashed into the river.

Steve…What have I done?

The somber coldness penetrated deep within his rigid bones, glass pelted over his feverish skin, Bucky Barnes tirelessly, and painfully hung on to the edge of the metal joist, blood trickled over his lips, his chiseled face battered with scrapes and small gashes-wound that would heal over time. He narrowed his pale azure eyes down at the murky abyss of water, watching the dark waves swallow up the fallen angel, allowing the man who saved him fall and disappear into the darkness of the Potomac River.

It was driving him insane-he could hear the echoes of his soul screaming as his heart ached with painful drumming against his ribs. He heaved out, a deep breath, and allowed him to the fall-floating down through the grayness of the sky as memories rushed to up to meet him. He felt the wind slash over his cheeks, twirling his dark sloppy brown strands, and smoldering tears drenched over the sharpness of his jaw line.

He closed his eyes, and listened to the tolling bell-wanting to touch the silk ribbon of his mother's silver hair gleaming against the November sky-gun metal clouds hovering over a vacant grave yard filled with stone crossed without the names of fallen men who gave their lives by conquering all of the doubts and fears. Flowers withering as the frost of winter encases the petals.

He sees old heroes-faces of men he once called his 'brothers in arms' he watches them scuffle safely down the streets carrying flags of freedom steady in their age spotted hands. They are ghosts of soldiers-nameless and forgotten. Their memories are written in articles stained with coffee, desolated graves etched with the dates of their births and deaths.

They drift through fractions time, searching for liberty, honor and hope. The things he fought for when wearing the uniform-when blood followed in their veins and the bullets never entered their resilient and pounding hearts.

They were once alive before maniacs blew holes inside their chests, straining the solid ground with red. He listens the deafening sounds of distant screams, thundering bombardments of heavy artillery tanks, and the heart-rending cries of surrender.

Bucky chose not to surrender to HYDRA's control-he was liberated when an old face of a friend called out his name through the blackness of the void he was thrown into so many years ago. A lifetime.

He whispered out with the true voice of Bucky Barnes, "Until the end of the line." He sucked in a deep intake of breath, and let himself fall freely into the Potomac River to save Steve from drowning.

He had a new mission to carry out...Redemption.

Plunging into the cold water, he allowed himself to sink further down until his metal hand clung onto the broad shoulder of Steve Roger's leaden body, he stares at the cloud of blood clotting in the water around him, he gripped tighter and hoisted Steve to the shafts of golden light guiding him back to the surface. He doesn't let out. He will never let go.

I've got you.

His damaged heart pounded out, as he swam to the top, his mouth fastened as air bubbles escape from the creased of his upper arched lip. He kept his locked on Steve's injured torso, staring intently and remorsefully at the damage he had done when his defiant soul was butchered to follow the morbid commands of HYDRA.

He finally grasped the freedom-the hope that was stolen from him-James Buchanan Barnes finally saw the light. A reason to live.

Tugging on Steve's uniform, Bucky dragged his friend's heavy body against the muddy traction of the soggy bank, his leather boots cut through the sharp blades of grass, and released his grip, easing Steve gently on the rock, leaves, dirt and gravel. Wasting no time, he desperately assessed Steve's condition-raking his soulful blue eyes over the super-soldiers wounded form. His skin was clammy and stark white, spangled red, white and blue uniform tattered with shards of glass embedded in the blemished flesh off of his thick muscles.

There was a lot of blood oozing out of the multiple gunshot wounds, his leg was compromised with a bullet in the calf. His abdomen took another bullet near his left hip and a bullet was still lodged in the planes of his back. Cuts, abrasions, and yellow tinged bruising littered his cut-stone. Steve was barely alive. His head swayed against the muddy earth as his pale rose lips faintly parted to expel and dribble out the bloody water drowning his lungs.

"I don't know if you can hear me," Bucky whispered scarcely, his low baritone sliced through the humid breeze. He hung his head low, allowing his drenched strands of chin-lengthened hair to drape over his ruddy cheeks. He systematically roved his glacial blue eyes over the gravel shoreline, checking for potential danger.

He ignored the excruciating pain erupting from his dislocated right arm which he kept tucked against his Kevlar vest. He felt the pain of guilt sear through his hollow bones-making his stomach churn with knots of acid. His tasted the metallic tang of copper trickle down his raw throat. He clenched his heavy jaw, and screwed his eyes shut. "If you can hear me...I'm sorry." he choked out, feeling the warm tears streak over his temples. "You never deserved this...You're a good man...and I never meant to this." He watched as Steve's eyelids began to flutter, and alarming he withdrew a step back. "Maybe one day...We'll see each other again."

'Bucky?" Steve coughed up another lungful of watery blood from the side of his swollen mouth. His voice sounded strained and weakened from exhaustion. "Bucky..."

Hearing his best friend whisper out his real name, Bucky felt his heart slam against the walls of his bruised chest. He turned to the other direction, the shadows were calling him back, and he sighed out a dismal breath that had become to painful for him to vocalize. "Good-bye...My friend."

He backed away from Steve's laden body, his instinctive movements pushed he further away from Steve. His damaged, corrupted mind knew that it was protocol to report back to a safe house and await for debriefing. He was programmed to live under the shadow of the HYDRA as they're obedient foot soldier. He never questioned the orders given to him.

He never displayed the burning defiance that ached to come unlocked as the iciness took hold and encompassed his soul into a hollow darkness. He wanted to remember the fragments of distant memories, but he refused not remain unseen. He turned, and vanished into the folds darkness of the trees, but somehow the good soldier trapped inside the inorganic existence of the assassin knew his friend will be searching for him. After all, Steve did make a promise to him.