AU: Reversed roles | Steve has become the Winter Soldier (Part I)
Steve died in that inferno trying to save him.
There was no getting past that. Not for Bucky.
When Bucky led the march of rescued soldiers back to their base-camp looking wan and broken without a single visible injury, Stark immediately started running tests. They found that he had been experimented on. Bucky didn’t remember any of it, but his body had been changed, made into some offshoot, bootlegged version of the super soldier that Steve had been.
They wanted to send him home, give him an honourable discharge, but Bucky refused. He picked up Steve’s shield and was instead promoted to captain. If his new body could do what they’d all seen Steve do, it was believed that the Allies could win the war within a month.
He never forgot Steve. Steve had died, but he’d rescued every soldier captured and locked away in that HYDRA base. Bucky kept a picture of his best friend on stuck to the inside of his pocket watch.
Some nights he looked at it and cried. Other nights he threw things. Most of the time, he just stayed awake, staring at the roof of his tent.
Captain America became a martyr. A symbol of hope and victory. In Bucky, the legacy could live on.
Bucky was the one charged with putting together a team and he became the one to lead them across Europe destroying HYDRA bases. While Leading the entire troop into HYDRA’s Headquarters, their final mission, Bucky found himself alone on the front lines face to face with the monster of a man he blamed for his friend’s death.
He followed Red Skull onto his bomber and defeated the HYDRA leader and all of his men aboard. For a moment, it seemed that victory had been achieved, but then Bucky looked at the display.
Every bomb was armed and there was no time or manner to neutralize them.
Bucky realized that his option was to take the ship somewhere it wouldn’t cause any damage. But there was no auto pilot. So he flew it north himself. He stared out over the ice, determination clear in his eyes even as the voices over the intercom told him there had to be some other way.
Bucky braced himself, breathing heavily. He was ready to join Steve, dying for freedom.
He brought the ship down, smashing through the ice. The front window smashed inward and the cockpit flooded with subzero water. Bucky didn’t have time to escape. His body went into shock and froze only minutes after the water rushed over him.
Bucky woke decades later in a strange room. When he tried to sit up, he realized his body felt completely off balance. A glance down told him why.
His left arm was gone.