Crouched in a lethargic trance after an hour or so of remaining still a lonesome figured gazed into the night contemplating the city lights from his temporary hideout in a skyscraper under construction that was left abandoned during the night.
Why hadn´t he returned to the base? He didn´t even remembered making that choice. He just knew that he couldn´t; not until he could make some sense of the strange feeling that hunted his soul. It wasn´t fear; he was used to fear. Anxiety over the mission? Never, he would keep trying until it was fulfilled just as it was expected for him. Whatever feeling he felt creeping inside was different, deeper, unfamiliar … a sense of … loss. Why? He had nothing except the missions, no one to miss, no one to lose; nevertheless … he contemplated at his hands absentmindedly. They still had traces of blood on them. Of his blood. He frowned; he had had blood in his hands many times before and it had never bother him before. Why was this time different? What one more death on an endless chain mattered? There were entire years lost from his memory but he knew one thing; he was an assassin. The best there was. Then, why?
Unordered memories of the events that transpired a few hours before flooded his mind. “You know me …” No, he didn´t. But, those yes … there was something in those eyes … such sorrow.
“It was just a trap. An attempt to distract me.” He stubbornly claimed over and over without believing it.
“Bucky … why?” He couldn´t forget the look on the man’s face when he had stabbed him for the second time. Why didn´t he even tried to defend himself? It was a trap … one in which the enemy had fallen; not him. He nodded his head in disbelief. It didn´t make any sense.
Cradling his head in desperation he zealously sought for a memory that would help him prove the falsity of his words.
“We were friends.” He had told him as he had feebly attempted to slow the knife from penetrating on his side. “Until the end of the line; remember?” He had volunteered while he fought the pain the sharp blade caused him. Those words, his words had triggered a cold rage within him. “I don´t know you.” He had growled pushing the knife in with a powerful blow. “I’m not Bucky.” He had screamed in feral frenzy as he pulled the knife out to stab him again with even more rage.
“I … am … sorry.” His last words on tearful eyes. “I …” What would have him said if they hadn´t been interrupted? Why did his words vex him so? He didn´t knew him … he couldn´t knew him. Then, why … why did he felt like he did? He had wrestled with himself for what seemed hours trying to dismiss that feeling.
Why couldn´t he forget those eyes? Those eyes … those cerulean blue eyes … that had looked at him with such urgency even at the brim of death. A sudden flash of a repress memory emerged; the same blue eyes looking at him through grief. He gasped shaken. He knew his name; he had told him his name. Without a reason he had pushed it down afraid of … he didn´t knew why. Decided he forced himself to say it out loud. “Steve.” More random memories attached to that name suddenly unlocked. Memories of a young boy; too weak to defend himself, too stubborn not to try. His eyes flooded along with the memories. He smirked at a fuzzy memory of a day at the beach.
“Punk.” The word burst out of his mouth without even thinking. Strange such a word would undo him. He broke down pained; he did knew him, and now … thick tears fell over his hands as he stared at them in horror. “I … killed him.” There was no point on denying it. An overwhelming assurance of what he had done crushed him. Even if his comrades had managed to provide him with medical assistance he should have died by now. He knew exactly where and how bad he had cut him; he must have bleed to death within the hour.
“I´m sorry?” The words now hunted him. “What are you sorry about you son of a bitch?” He raged to the heavens as the memory of Steve´s face while he said them burned into his heart. “For God´s sake Steve …I killed you” He rose up enraged at himself looking for something to vent his anger with. “What do you have to be sorry about?” He kept raging as he trashed the room, knocking the walls in fury, overturning scaffolds and tables until he was too exhausted to continue. He dropped to his knees in grief while sobbing uncontrollably as he embraced all the pain his heart felt. He didn´t wanted to forget it, he didn´t wanted to forget him; his Steve, his friend, his brother … there weren´t enough words to describe what he felt for him.
“What have I done?” He sniveled as he reproached himself harshly closing his eyes sickened by his own reflection in a broken glass. “I …” Repressed memories kept unlocking; surfacing through the devastating pain. He could see Steve clearly in his mind now; a young man that looked at him in deep affection after coming to his aid one more time. A flustered shy Steve that blushed at any compliment he might give him. “You … were … my friend … and I … I … killed you.” Through minutes without end he furiously, savagely pulled every one of the memories he could find despite the pain every one of them caused him; sadly, languishing on the floor; he remembered the war, the Howling Commandos … Hydra. He widened his eyes enraged; next he observed his cybernetic arm. Closing his fist tightly he acknowledged out loud. “They … they do this to me. They turned me into … this. He spat with disgust as his reflection caught his eye again. “They are the ones.” His features distorted by the fierceness he now felt. “They … they killed you.”
Madden by the revelation he stood up; huffing furiously he clenched his jaw. There was nothing he could do for Steve; nothing he could ever do would bring him back. There was nothing except revenge. He knew the base; he knew how to bypass their defenses. Once there he would do what they had trained him to do. They wanted an assassin? That was exactly what they were going to get.
Meanwhile in the Hydra base his absence had not went unnoticed. “Comrade Novikov. Do we have a report on the soldier?”
“Yes, sir. We located him in the city after failing his mission. He doesn´t seem to be regrouping. “ The technician informed him.
“How long since he had moved?” The officer asked.
“About three hours Sir.” Novikov repplied. Suddenly the screen beeped. “He´s on the move again.”
Karavayev scowled pensively; the Winter Soldier had been out of invernation for too long. It was not unknown to him the incidents his mental instability brought along. “Which seems to be his destination? He asked sternly.
“It seems he´s coming back to the base Sir.” The younger man volunteered.
“Be sure to prepare the traps …” The superior officer ordered. “Just in case.” You didn´t killed a perfect asset; you just wiped him clean from time to time. And it seemed the time had come to do it again.