The scientists stared in shock as the person they had thought insane hugged Bucky within moments of meeting him, and that he was able to calm her down. Steve hid a smile at their expressions, his best friend obviously cared for this girl very much.
An hour passed and Bucky and the girl called Susanna (Sol) showed no signs of detaching from each other. They occasionally talked quietly and had changed position from the centre of the cell to Bucky sitting with his back against the wall and Susanna curled on his lap leaning against his chest while he kept his arms around her, one hand stroking her hair. For the first time in five years (including cryofreeze) she felt safe, she was always safe in Winter’s flesh and metal embrace. He was her Zima she was his Solntse (Sol). Sometimes she would slip from English to Russian without noticing, every time this happened, one agent in particular would scrutinise the pair of assassins as if they were planning something and were switching languages to stop them knowing what was said. Eventually Ross decided they had had enough time and wanted to talk to Bucky about her, he walked up to the cell door and tapped on the glass. Susanna immediately whipped her head around to focus on the man, she didn’t like this man. “Sergeant Barnes. A moment please.” Ross motioned toward the exit. Bucky nodded, “Hey Sol, I need to go for a minute”, she looked at him worriedly
“Are you leaving?” her voice was fearful
“Only for a minute. Then I’ll be back. Promise.”
Sol nodded “One minute.”
Bucky smiled, eased to his feet and turned to exit the cell. “Sixty, Fifty-Nine, Fifty-Eight, Fifty-Seven…” she began counting softly. Ross led Bucky behind the one-way mirror “So you know this girl. How, where and when.”
“HYDRA nearly killed her with their experiments before locking her away, Siberia, 1962.” Bucky said quietly. Ross fell silent after he dropped that bombshell, he hadn’t expected answers so blunt, much less from the Winter Soldier.
Bucky turned back and re-entered the cell “Twelve, Eleven.” Susanna stopped counting. Bucky sat back down and she claimed her spot on top of him again settling back into each other. Bucky realised she was asleep when she started to slip off him. Bucky rested her on the ground, no chance of her waking up any time soon so her rolled up his discarded jacket and pillowed her head with it. He stood and stretched his stiffening muscles and left to find Steve.
“So who is she?” Steve asked Bucky as they sat in their temporary apartment in the Raft.
“It’s a long story” Bucky averted his gaze
“We’re not doing anything for a while.”
“Might as well get comfortable then.” They sat on the couch and Bucky began to speak.
“I first met her in Australia. I was on a mission in Australia to kidnap Prime Minister Harold Holt, she was a young girl on the beach where Holt was to be taken. She wasn’t fooled one second by my disguise she followed me through the beach crowds, never shaken off until I took the PM and swam to the submarine. She was left standing waist deep in the surf. The next time I saw her was in a HYDRA base, she was in a training room and was standing over the dead bodies of two guards. She was a naturally enhanced person, similar to what she has now except much weaker and apart from her wings and claws she was pretty much a normal girl. That was before they experimented on her.”