Chapter 16: Too Much Loss For Today

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A/N - This is Erin's dress for the chapter.  I also used Xhosa when Erin speaks with King T'Chaka (they actually speak this in the movie). Hope you all enjoy!

Happy Reading!

\LeeandSara11\

As I sit in the front pew beside Sam, a crying Steve carries Peggy's casket down the aisle beside us. It was hard for me to understand what he was feeling, what it was like to lose someone whom you loved like that, but I knew that I needed to be here for him. The service only lasted about a half an hour and Steve cried through most of it. He seemed to recognize Peggy's niece so at lease he wouldn't be alone with Sam once I left. 

It's now a little while after the funeral. I decided to stay with Steve in the church until Natasha came, knowing that he shouldn't be alone right now. I leaned against Steve's side as he wrapped his arm around me, a few tears occasionally falling onto the lace of my dress. Natasha soon appears beside Steve and I, a solemn yet pitiful look on her face. 

"When I came out of the ice, I thought everyone I knew was gone. When I found out she was still alive, I was just lucky to have her." Steve tells Nat.

"She was lucky to have you too." she reassures. I slowly leave Steve's side and join Nat's, knowing what was going to come next.

"Who else has signed the accords?" Steve asks.

"Tony, Rhodey, Vision, and Erin." Nat says. I look towards the ground when Nat says my name, not wanting to know the look of disappointment that was most likely on Steve's face. 

"Erin and I are off to the signing of the accords. There's plenty of room on the jet." Nat reminds but Steve just ignores her statement.

Feeling the tension radiating off of Steve I whisper to Nat that I would be outside and quickly flee the situation. Once I was outside, my breathing began to pick up and before I knew it, I was on the ground, paralyzed by fear. 

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Luckily, after Nat was done talking with Steve she was able to talk me down and get me on the jet. Now, we're in Vienna, in a room full of representatives from around the world, including King T'Chaka and his son Prince T'Challa. Once Nat and I had signed in, the Prince himself came to talk with us.  

"I suppose all of us aren't used to the spotlight." he says.

"It's not always so flattering." Nat replies with a polite smile on her face.

"You seem to be doing all right so far. Both of you." he compliments.

"Pardon my bluntness, but you seem uneasy. Do you not agree with all of this?" I ask.

"The accords, yes. The politics, no. Two people in a room can get more done than a hundred." T'Challa replies. 

"Unless you need to move a piano." the King says from behind Nat. The two greet each other before the King greets the both of us. 

"Luzuko, ubuqaqawuli bakho." I say with a small curtsy. (It's an honor, your majesty.)

"Uthetha ulwimi lwabantu bethu?" The King replies (You speak the language of our people?) 

"Nje nje." I say. (Just a bit.)

"Well your fluency is excellent, Ms. Stark." The King says, switching back to English.

"Thank you, your majesty." I reply. 

"If everyone could please be seated. This assembly is now in session." The speakers blast around the room.

With a quick nod of the head to both King T'Chaka and T'challa, I remove my self from the conversation and find my seat.

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I blankly stare at King T'Chaka as he delivers his speech, too much on my mind for me to focus. Looking towards Nat, I see that she is deeply engrossed in his speech as her head nods along in agreement. Slowly redirecting my attention, I see the Prince looking at the window in suspicion. That's when I hear screams from outside and guard dogs begin to bark. T'Challa's eyes grow wide in panic as he screams:

"Everybody get down!"

He then runs for his father as everyone listens to his command, except for me. I stand up and try to pull the King and Prince away from the windows, but it's too late. The blast knocks over all three of us, but I luckily was able to fade through desks and debris. Smoke filled the room with the sound of people coughing mixing with the sound of sirens. 

When the smoke began to clear and the dust finally settled, I spotted T'Challa cradling a dead T'Chaka in his arms. A pang of guilt spread through me. 

Why wasn't I fast enough?

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Once rescue officials were in the building, Nat and I were quickly escorted out of the building. They quickly lead us to the the ground floor where Nat and I were suddenly split up. Out of nowhere, Steve appears by me and drags me to the side of the commotion.

"Wait, what are you doing here? How did you get here?" I question.

"That doesn't matter right now. What matters is that we need to find Bucky." 

"Who's Bucky?" I ask.

"James Barnes, also known as the Winter Soldier." Steve answers.

"He needs time just like I did. Why do you need to find him at this exact moment?" I question once more.

"Special Services sent us to bring him in peacefully. I just have a feeling that he won't remember me still. But he might remember you." Steve explains.

Something about how Steve explains the mission makes me a little suspicious. The way he nervously spat out all this information at me without even answering my first question. I guess I have to trust him on this.

"I'm in. When do we leave?" I say.

"Now." Steve answers while quickly walking away from me. I follow him as we walk towards a nearby coffee shop.

There, Sam hands me a bland outfit with my new suit buried underneath it. I nod my head before taking it from his hands and disappear into the ladies room. I hide myself in a stall and wait for everyone to leave the room. Eventually, they did.

Quickly stripping from my old outfit, I begin to arm myself. My black, hooded vest and stretchy yet protective pants go on first. I then quickly tie up my slim combat boots before putting on my armor. Looking at my hands and all the simple silver rings, I light up my hands and close them into fists. Nano bots erupt from all the rings except for Pietro's and travel up my arm, giving me metal sleeves. I feel the cold metal build across my chest, protecting it from any future bullets. As the metal sets on my body, I grab two black objects that resemble hearing aids, slipping them behind my ears.

I turn around to analyze the rest of my outfit. It was simple enough to not be noticed but not to simple to be suspicious. 


Reluctantly, I dress myself in everything but the boots and jewelry, instead stashing them behind the toilet

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Reluctantly, I dress myself in everything but the boots and jewelry, instead stashing them behind the toilet. Walking out of the stall, I wash my face from all of the makeup I had on. Pulling on the baseball cap given to me, I walk out of the bathroom, ready to find my old friend.

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