And so, here's a little Winter Soldier character piece for you, set pre-CA:TWS.
credit: union* @flickr
It was sunrise when they arrived in the city. They had five hours to locate the target and then fifteen minutes for him to eliminate the target. It wouldn’t take that long to do either task, so they allowed him to dally. He watched the sun crest over the mountains and illuminate the city below.
He knew this city, he realized. He had been here before – only it had been different then. He did not know why he knew that it had been different, but he did. It was a feeling – no, a knowledge. It was the same as his knowledge of the English language, as though he had been born knowing – as though he had always known.
He hadn’t been born here, though. This he also knew, but he did not know why he knew it. The city, though vaguely familiar, did not have the feeling of home. He furrowed his brow wondering how he would know the feeling of home if he were to feel it, as he had no recollection of ever feeling it before – and yet, like his knowledge of English, the knowledge of what home should feel like seemed to also be deeply buried within. Perhaps there were things one was just born knowing – like how birds know to fly south in winter. He wondered, if he were to wander, if his feet would take him home.
A member of his support team came to stand at his shoulder, and looked out at the city as well. He continued to look at the city until he figured out the reason why it was different than his knowledge of it.
“I know this place, but half destroyed,” he said in the language his support team spoke. Not English.
The man beside sucked in a quick breathe. Another behind him spoke.
“Did he just speak?”
He shut his eyes briefly, resisted the urge to sigh. He had forgotten. He had forgotten that he wasn’t supposed to speak – not unless it related directly with the mission.
“Is he supposed to speak? What did he say?”
“He said he knows the city.”
“Is he supposed to know the city?”
“I don’t know.”
This was why he did not speak –no, not this exactly, but what would come after.
“It helps with the mission,” he said, turning away from the view and moving to ready his weapons – to double-check his gear. He hoped that the explanation would satisfy them. He hoped...
They completed the mission, while giving him warier looks than before, and then they traveled back to base. He cursed himself for ever having spoken, it had been unprompted and unneeded – only he did not understand why he was not allowed to speak – even though the support team was always speaking, chatting, with one another. He had just been... surprised... surprised that he had known the city already. It had made him feel... more like a person who was allowed to speak.
But it had cost him and when they returned, he was led to the chair. He gave his report, but he was still lead to the chair.
The commander came in and leaned over him.
“They said you remembered the city,” the commander said.
“I knew it,” he replied, because there was no point to a lie.
“Do you know your name?” the commander asked.
He glared at him, because this was a joke. He had no name. The commander narrowed his eyes, perhaps annoyed that he had not gotten a rise out of him with the teasing.
“Do you know who you are?” the commander pressed.
He didn’t respond, though he had a reply on his tongue. He knew the decision had already been made.
“Wipe him,” the commander said to one of the people who hovered nearby.
I know myself, but half destroyed.
(The picture is actually Slovakia, which I'm not sure if Steve and Bucky were ever in during the war, but let's pretend that they were... even though I'm pretty sure that area was liberated by the Russians. But, I mean, come on, it's Captain America, I really shouldn't be worried about historical accuracy!)