Chapter 6

6.5K 178 2
                                    

I piloted is the rest of the way myself. When we were around ten miles away from my landing site, I told everyone to grab as many weapons as they could conceal.
I set the plane to autopilot and showed Steve how to quickly maneuver a blanket into a makeshift backpack for his shield, which I had stashed in the plane the day before. His face was priceless when I pulled it out for him to see.
I handed Winter a windbreaker and gloves that would conceal his arm, and I fitted myself with the same. Sam and Natasha put on baseball caps that would conceal their hair, and grabbed as many things as they could carry.
The plane stopped and we all jolted forward. I knew that meant that we had reached our target coordinates. Sam looked out the windows.
"You said we were going to Asia." We were surrounded by a dense forest.
"We are in Asia," I called back, exiting the plane. "We're right next to a city that has all the supplies we need to get to my next plane."
"But you said it was up to us," he said, shielding his eyes from the sun. It was now around ten o'clock, meaning we needed to move fast.
"It will be up to you once we get out of Asia. Didn't you listen at all?" I checked my bag for the fifth time since landing. I hoped the team couldn't see how on edge I was.
Steve put his hand on my shoulder, giving me a reassuring smile, like he was my dad or something. I swung the bag around my shoulder and we all walked single file through the woods and towards civilization.
It took almost five hours to make it to the first signs of people, then another three to make it to the city. I could tell everyone was starting to get a bit antsy, so I decided to duck into a nearby alley.
When I turned out of sight of the public, I let out a breath. Steve looked around wearily and Winter huffed. Sam was annoyed as always, and Natasha still had that plain face.
Natasha puzzled me. She knew more than she was letting on, and something tells me it was her that convinced Sam to take a chance on me. Steve knew something too, but she knew more than he did still.
I sat down on an overturned trash can and rested my head against the wall. "Let's rest here for a bit," I mumbled. "We're almost there."
They all stayed silent, which was not what I was expecting. I thought Sam was going to start yelling at me, but he must have been really tired. They were all alert though, I could see Winter's eyes flitting everywhere.
I grabbed a few protein bars from my bag and handed them around. Sam and Winter refuses, but Steve accepted them gratefully.
"Can I take a second one, for Buck?"he asked softly. I nodded and gave him two. I turned to Natasha to find her staring at me.
"What?"
I saw something in her eyes right then, something of sudden realization. It went by quickly, but it was there.
"Nothing," she said softly. She gingerly took the bar from me, and I walked back to my trash can, thinking about what she could have possibly figured out.
We stayed there in that alley for hours, waiting for the foot traffic to get heavier on the street. By the time we were able to conceal ourselves easily, it was probably around six in the evening.
After Steve gave the okay to leave, we stepped out into the fray. It was a marketplace. One that Clara and I had chosen to surround our hideout because it had all the equipment we may need, including fuel for planes. After another hour of walking, I turned into another alley.
I led the others through a maze of alleyways, into the lower class part of the city. And the farther into the alleys we got, the more homeless people we encountered.
We were about half a mile away from my hideout when we were approached by a man. He was old, and grey, and weak. So weak in fact, that he fell at my feet.
Steve wanted to help, and stepped forward. I stopped him with an upraised hand, and the old man moaned on the ground. I knelt down and softly took his hand.
"Come on." His whole body shook violently. "Let me help you." The man tried to stand, but as soon as he gained his footing, he collapsed again. I caught him and draped his arm over my shoulders.
I had encountered many helpless people like this whenever I had to hideout in an alley. They were always hungry and scared, and I would always give them some food or something.
Once, I gave a woman two of my protein bars, and she gave me a necklace in return. It was a simple necklace with a silver heart charm. I always wore it. In fact, I was wearing it right then, helping this man.
I walked him over to the side of a building, and rested him against the wall. A protein bar wasn't going to do much for this man, but he might have lived to see a couple more days.
I pulled from my diminishing food supply, and set the bar in his hand. I held his in mine, kneeling down to his eye level. He didn't speak as he nodded his thanks. I smiled and gave his hands a little squeeze.
Standing with my backpack, I waved the others to keep moving. I didn't look back to see if they followed, but listened to their footsteps. Looking back would show the tears in my eyes. I had already shown too much.
A half mile later, we reached my abandoned warehouse. The door closed with an agonizingly loud creak, and Sam arched his back.
"That took way too long," he groaned, "Give me a protein bar."
I tossed him one. "We'll need to get more food tomorrow." Winter's stomach grumbled.
"Buck, you've got to eat something!" Steve snapped, throwing the bar I gave to him earlier at him. It was gone in two bites, and I threw him another. That one was also gone rather quickly.
There were four airplanes in my hangar, and we would be using all of them.

We all slept up in the rafters that night. Well, Sam and Steve slept in the rafters that night. I sat awake with Winter and Natasha. It was awkward, and hard not to look at them.
I couldn't take it anymore, and I climbed down a pole. As I dropped to the ground, I could feel two assassins staring intently at me from above. Watching every move, listening to every breath.
I checked all the planes for fuel, all of them were full. Thank goodness. If they were low, I would have been in real trouble.
Even now, I was starting to get worried that I might not be able to pull this off without Clara. She was the one who was supposed to go out and get all the supplies while I stayed with the team. Now I had to gather supplies and hope that the group trusted me enough to not run away.
This was only planned with both of us in the picture, at least at the beginning. Now that she wasn't there, I was forced to make up as I go. Clara was the help I needed, she was the help I wasn't expecting the Avengers to give me. I was on my own, and I was scared.

The night went by slowly and sleeplessly. I was mostly pacing around the hangar, listening to the echo of my steps. I think I woke up Sam and Steve at one point, because I heard whispering. My super soldier hearing picked up everything.
"Why should we trust her?" Sam's voice asked. "She's a kid. They're good at lying, and she's also Hydra. If anyone trusts anything they say, they're dead meat." An odd silence followed that as they listened to me walk. I kept my pace steady, so that they wouldn't know I was listening.
"You and I both know that's not true Sam," Steve said, "she could be a victim just like Bucky was."
"She's got an elaborate plan! Bucky's pretty smart and it took him seventy years to escape. She's fourteen and she's got it all figured out."
"You guys,"Winter cut in. "I don't think she's ever been brainwashed."
"What do you mean, Buck?"
"I mean I don't think she has trigger words that could put her under."
Winter was right. I had never truly been under HYDRA's control.
"That means that she's willing!" Sam hissed.
"Or," Winter shifted in the rafters, trying to make as little noise as possible, failing. "She's really smart, and she actually has a plan."
"What do you think she's done, huh? Even if she is against Hydra, she would have gotten caught if she didn't follow orders. She's a m-"
"Alright!" Steve cut him off before he could say it. "Either way, she's all we have. If it weren't for her, we'd still be trapped in that cell, or worse. Let's keep an eye on her. Nat, I want you to watch her."
"Aye aye, Cap," Natasha nodded. That was the first time that she had spoken all night.
"Buck, if she needs anything, I need you to go with her, Nat following behind. I'll try and get info from her. Sam," Steve pauses, "Just don't scare her off." I could imagine him rolling his eyes at that.
I smiled to myself. Steve just ensured my plan's success. He wasn't going to go anywhere without Bucky, and he was now my bodyguard. Not that I needed one, I could take care of myself.
With that thought, I decided to return to my spot in the ceiling. I climbed the pipes on the wall with ease, coming to rest at the highest corner of the building.
I was aware of the Avengers watching me, and at this point, I didn't care about being polite. I stared right back at them. I saw nothing but the reflection of the minimal light in their eyes. After few minutes, they looked away whispering again. I didn't care about what they talked about this time, and I fell into another uneasy sleep.

The Soldier of Summer: Book 1Where stories live. Discover now