Whatever it takes. If only he knew what it would take. If only he knew it would take her. If only he knew they would fail, and she would die for nothing.
Six stones. Three teams. One chance to undo everything. To save everyone. Whatever it takes.
As Steves body was pulled with force back through the quantum tunnel he had only one hope to what he would find on the other side. His mind focused on the six stones, and friends who had gone off on the dangerous mission to find them. Within his suit the space stone lie tucked away safely, eager to join its other cosmic pieces and fulfill the will of the holder. So much death and destruction was accomplished with such little objects, yet they knew it could also create life, bring back life, the billions who had faded away into dust.
Steve took a small faltered step as he felt his feet hit the floor, his body reemerging from the rush of the time passing through him. Heavy breathes emerged as he focused to get back his orientation. A brief motion of his hand pressed a button that retreated his helmet, she sapphire hues glanced around to one by one see the others returning. Thor and Rocket from Asgard, Tony by his side after coming back from Camp Lehigh. Scott had already been waiting for them, having separated from Steve and Tony when they lost the space stone in New York. Seconds later more appeared, Nebula and Rhodey from Morag, and Clint from Vormir.
It was the moment Clint appeared that Steve knew something was not right. The look on his face made Steve's heart sink down like a brick. "Where's Nat...." Steve asked, not even answering whoever had asked if they got all the stones. Natasha, the woman he loved with every fiber of his being... "Clint...." He wanted to question him, wanted to know what happened to her, but no words came. The look on Clint's face as he dropped to his knees gave him the answer. She was gone... Natasha Romanoff was dead.
Steve glanced around at the others. "Did we get them..." He asked, knowing they could not fail, not now. Rhodey pulled out a stone from his suit, the power stone one of the most dangerous. Bruce produced a small green stone in his hand, the time stone. He already knew without him taking it out that Clint had the soul stone, and Scott had been sent back ahead of them with the mind stone. Steve had the space stone in his pocket which brought the count up to five. Steves gaze turned to Thor and Rocket, both of whose expressions were one of defeat. Steve could feel his heart shatter as Thor only shook his head, confirming they had failed in retrieving the reality stone.
The others didn't know about Steve and Natasha, as it had only been a few weeks prior that they had finally addressed their feelings for each other. Ever since that stolen kiss on the escalator when they were on the run years ago, there had always been this pull towards each other. All the gazes, all the moments, right in their face yet unspoken for years. Their only regret was waiting this long to do something about it. So as the others watched Steve crumble to his knees, a rare sight of tears staining the outer corners of his eyes, they didn't know. They didn't truly understand the level of heartbreak above the rest he was feeling.
They failed their mission. They had failed her. HE had failed her. Natasha Romanoff had given her life up for a world that could no longer be saved.
Impossibilities: Open Starter for any Bucky writers
Phoenix Down Resources /1234567
"Bucky is alive."
Those three little words stuck with Steve endlessly. Three little words that when put together meant something far bigger and far more shocking than he could ever imagine. He didn't tell the others of what he had learned, but they noticed he was not himself. Averting questions, he would spend hours in his room going over the memory in his head again and again. It wasn't possible, he saw Bucky fall, heard his cries as his body dropped hundreds of feet into the icy ravine down below. The chance of survival for something of that magnitude was zero. Or was it? Nothing made sense to the super soldier, and he knew he should just forget about it.
If only it were that easy. After they determined the doppelganger was not actually Loki, questions swirled over who he really was. Steve fought him and there was no doubt in his mind it was him. Same face, same moves, same strength. Even if it was Loki, or something else masquerading, the strength of the super solider was not something you could duplicate. Even if it somehow had been, there was one more undeniable fact about the man he encountered. He carried something no one else knew about, something that only the real Steve Rogers would have.
Peggys locket. It was the one thing that drove Steve to learn more about the claim of Buckys survival. Which led him to this place weeks after his encounter. Laying stomach down on a small overlook hidden within the tall oak trees, sapphire orbs scanned the scene down before him. It had show up on satellite images as a large bunker, located 192 miles north of New York. However all he saw was a large doorway and determined the rest was underground. Why did it always have to be underground?
A sudden tenseness washed over the super soldiers body. His gaze caught site of one the soldiers patrolling along the perimeter, and upon his sleeve the familiar symbol of none other than Hydra. Steve fell a pit form in his stomach, now fearing what he may find with the bunker. If his doppelganger was telling the truth, if the Intel he had dug up really led him to Bucky, here in this place, he could not even imagine what his best friend had been through. It did explain why he never came back, why he never found Steve. He was not prepared for what he was about to find.
Steve made his way down the small hill towards another grouping of trees, moving closer towards one of the outer perimeter guards. Once he was just within reach, Steve yanked him into the trees and quickly put him out. If he wanted to get into that bunker without risking anything happening to Bucky, he would have to think outside the box. Steve stripped the guard down, putting the mans clothes on himself. He had left his uniform at home, only bringing the shield with, which managed to hide within a nearby bush. This wasn't originally his plan, but knowing Hydra was behind it, he didn't have a choice. He took some of the dirt from the ground to run it through golden locks, ruffling it up as he did. He did the same with the dried dirt to his face, wanting to make sure he was not recognized. As far as plans go, this was not his best, especially having not told anyone where he was going.
"Hail Hydra." Steve managed to trick his way right past the two men at the front. Even he was surprised they fell for the poor attempt at a disguise. He quickly made his way inside, making sure to take in every detail, every turn, every hallway. If this went south, he needed to make sure he could get himself out, as well as Bucky if he was here. Doubt crept into his mind for what was probably the thousandth time since the words were spoken by his mirror. This was such a stupid idea. Who in the right mind would believe Bucky survived that fall? His mind drifted back to the locket, his firm reminder that those words had to be true.
"The Asset just got back. Get him wiped and we will send him back to Siberia in the morning." The voice said into a phone as he walked past Steve in the dark damp hallway. If only Steve knew what it meant, what horrors he was about to discover. He made it down two stories to what appeared to be a lab area when he was finally intercepted.
"You don't belong here..." The soldier stated, gaze narrowing at the intruder. He made it further than expected but even Steve knew in time someone would recognize him past the ridiculous disguise. The man lunged at him to which Steve easily blocked him and flipped him down hard into the cold concrete. Others now had begun to file into the room and Steve was again plagued with that doubt of whether or not he should even be here.
In that moment, all doubt faded. Sapphire hues caught sight on one of the men as the entered the room. Long black slick hair brushed along the soldiers shoulders, and a gaze that held only determination and death connected with Steve. It wasn't possible, yet there he was. He didn't recognize Steve, and the shock of the man staring him down was all the distraction the soldiers needed. Teeth clenched and a groan sounded as a massive jolt of electricity was felt in his side, along with a second from behind. Steve felt a sharp jab in his neck, and within a couple seconds everything in the room started to spin. It's not possible, the super soldier serum would dilute and eliminate any foreign poisons in his body. These soldiers knew more than he thought, and his distraction with Bucky was the only help they needed to take him down.
"Bucky...." Steve stumbled forward a couple steps before whatever overpowered sedative was in his bloodstream overwhelmed him. The super soldier dropped to his knees before collapsing, the whole world around him suddenly going dark.