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Steve wore a look of horror at the sight of Brenna's bloody lower back. How was she still standing? The yellow shield vanished when the gun shots stopped. Brenna breathed deeply in exhilaration, adrenaline coursing through her veins like a drug. Bucky lowered the gun and squinted his eyes at her from where he stood many yards away.

There was a tense pause in the fight. Then, the Winter Soldier swiftly tossed a small metal ball at Steve and Brenna. Smoke exploded out of it, making it impossible to see anything. And when it cleared, Brenna and Bucky were both gone.

Steve's heart dropped to his stomach. Men surrounded him, cuffing his hands and shoving him into a truck with Natasha and Sam. But he couldn't find strength to fight it. Bucky was alive. And now, Brenna was gone.

• • •

As thick black smoke engulfed Brenna, she coughed violently. She felt her body being yanked away from the scene. Feet flying out from under her, she found herself in the arms of the Winter Soldier. His mask was back in place over his nose and mouth, and his eyes were expressionless as he stared ahead.

Brenna found herself clinging to him as he moved quickly through the streets. Her back and shoulder ached from the wounds she'd gotten, but she felt as strong as ever. Yet she couldn't bring herself to escape Bucky's clutches. If she was taken to HYDRA, perhaps she could get some important information before making her get-away.

The Winter Soldier slowed his pace as he hopped swiftly into the back of a military-style jeep. The back door closed and locked. Only then did he release Brenna. The only light came from a lamp that hung in the center of the car roof. Bucky sat down on one of the crates that lined each side, setting his gun down.

"..You don't think I'll try to kill you?" Brenna asked, sounding more curious than threatening.

There was silence for a while, the only sound coming from the car's engine as it rolled away. Then, he responded monotonously, "..you can't kill me. You couldn't even kill those other men."

Brenna was slightly offended; she knew very well that she could've killed those men if she wanted to. "That's because I wasn't trying to kill them," she retorted with inquisitive eyes.

"Exactly," the Winter Soldier agreed.

Now she knew what he meant. He'd meant that she didn't have the guts to kill. And he was right. She found herself pouting silently.

Bucky met her eyes finally. He stared at her in wonder. Again, he felt his own thoughts begin to generate, not just the ones he'd been fed by machines. "Your hair," he observed.

Brenna was taken aback, not having expected him to notice, let alone mention, her hair cut. "Yeah..it was in the way," she answered uncertainly. She watched as Bucky slowly reach up to feel his own hair. It was just then that she realized they had the same hair lengths now. She couldn't help but laugh softly at his reaction.

The Winter Soldier cocked his head to the side slowly, trying to read her emotions through her facial expressions. There was no longer fear.

It satisfied him that Brenna wasn't afraid of him any longer. And it was good. Because if his plan was considered, he and Brenna would be spending a lot more time together. If his plan was put to action, she would become his partner in combat. Yet the more Bucky thought, the more he realized that he didn't want to fight people. And he didn't want this girl to fight people either.

But just as his mind was clearing, the vehicle stopped and the back doors opened. Bucky fell back into his Winter Soldier self and grabbed Brenna by the arm to lead her out.

A frown placed itself on her face as she was pushed and tugged to where Bucky needed her to go. Looking around as she walked, Brenna found that they were at a building in the city on the corner of a block. She was led in deep, down many flights of stairs, before finally stopping.

Met with the menacing eyes of an older man, Brenna felt slightly intimidated. But she didn't dare let that show. The Winter Soldier released her and stood back with two other men, who'd also been in the battle.

"Brenna, Halliday, Stark," Pierce greeted with a fake smile. He then turned to the three men. "Why is she still breathing?" He asked with an irritated scowl.

"She was shot at least five times, Sir," one man reported awkwardly, "she..won't die."

Pierce eyed her bloody shoulder with disgust and wonder. "Well," he began casually, "did you try the head?" He then gestured for the other man to finish the job.

"Wait," Bucky muttered, but the man ignored him. He pushed Brenna down to her knees and pointed the long barrel of his automatic gun at the back of her head.

Brenna felt herself begin to panic. But before a shot could be fired, Bucky yelled in fury, "I said wait!" He ripped the gun from the other man's hands and cracked it over his own knee, effectively breaking it in two. Immediately, all remaining guns were pointed at him.

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