Flickering Night

The Winter Soldier was thought to be alone. The weapon of HYDRA. Completely incapable of emotion. The Avengers believed it, HYDRA believed it, the government believed it. They knew Bucky Barnes was a good person but thought the Winter Soldier was not. But the Winter Soldier was still human and proved them all wrong...because some love can't be forgotten.

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5. Change

Months passed and HYDRA restarted experimenting on Solntse. Winter was in cryostasis and there was nothing to stop them. Every day they would inject her with blue liquid and leave her alone to writhe in pain. It took two years before there was a major change. Solntse woke in her cell, shivering from the cold and the shelter of her Zima was a distant memory. She sat up and frowned, her muscles felt strangely taut. She felt her normally flimsy silver wings move when she willed them to and her normally laboured breathing was even. But her muscles throbbed and ached, she tried to stand, ignoring the stiffness before a burning pain seized her legs, arms and back. Solntse cried out in shock as she felt her muscles tear themselves apart. She collapsed to the ground, her wings falling over her where they shouldn’t, they were much bigger, heavier and…blue? She stared through the pain at her now huge, blue scaly wings accented with bronze scales. Solntse lay on the floor of her icy cell until she heard sharp footsteps toward her cell. The door hissed open and the guards entered with the scientist. “Well isn’t this a pleasant surprise!” the scientist remarked “obviously the serum is having an effect, just how much we’ll have to find out. Stand up!” he ordered. Solntse remained curled on the floor, “Pick her up” the guards grabbed her arms and hauled her to her feet, the scientist circled her taking notes and prodding “Walk to the other side of the cell.” He ordered. Solntse didn’t move. The man pulled a baton from his belt and electricity crackled and sparked along its length “Walk.” She remained still, hanging in the guards’ grip. “Fine” He said before touching the baton to her back, she jerked and stumbled forward a step. “Good” he said before zapping her shoulder, sending her twitching forward another step. He electrocuted her twelve times, trying to get her to move before her eyes rolled into her head and she crumpled to the cold concrete floor. The last thing she remembered was the needle stabbing into her wrist and a fiery agony searing her veins. Solntse continued to change, she found herself moving with ease and her muscles shifting into places no other female she had seen had, as well as thickening into steel-strong waves. One day in a bout of experiment-induced agony curved black claws erupted from beneath her fingertips. They would slide from beneath her skin and were razor sharp. Within half a year Solntse no-longer recognised most of her growing body. Then Winter came out of cryostasis, he completed his mission and was allowed to see her. Despite her changes he still recognised her and immediately encased her in the first warm hug for two and a half years, “My Solntse,” he murmured in her ear “Do you remember?” “Zima” she whispered back holding onto Winter, later that night he held out his upturned fist to her and she rested her own forearm on his before wrapping her hand around the metal and pulling him into a hug. It surprised both of them how much stronger she had become to be able to pull him. He comforted her about her changes and showed her some stretches to help with her violently stiff muscles. At night Solntse would curl up against Winter’s side, he didn’t mind in the slightest, he felt more relaxed having her safely tucked in his arms. The scientist got a shock to find he would have to antagonise the Winter Soldier to get to his experiment, it took two death glares and the Soldier shifting to display the knife grasped in his metal fist as he held the sleeping Solntse to get the scientist to leave. Winter and Solntse were allowed to stay together for a week before Winter had to enter cryostasis again, “Stay strong, Sol” he repeated what he had said before.

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