Erasers and Soldiers
This story along with others can also be found on under the name RubyScars. Give me any opinions, Thanks for reading!
Auria was one of the few Avian Americans around, but that didn't mean she was part of The Flock. She didn't belong with the other bird kids, and maybe she was always meant to be on her own. That's what she thought when one of her solo missions sent her straight into the arms of The Avengers whom, alright she was breaking into their tower but really, decided to hold her hostage until all of their questions were answered. If a genius playboy philanthropist in an Iron suit, an equally genius scientist with an anger management problem, and a super soldier from the world war weren't enough problems she also stumbles into one James Buchannan Barnes. Who is not so dead as the world thinks. He also has quite a few secrets. Well, so does she. Who thinks her living here is a good idea? And no, Tony does not get a vote. He has a warped sense of humor.
Auria ruffled her feathers, settled back on her heels and then punched him in the face. She felt the impact as her knuckles cracked against his temple, dropping him quickly. She shook her sore hand with a soft curse but a smile curled up her lips as she bounced back out of reach when another fist flailed in her direction. She twisted quickly, catching the second man off guard with a quick kick to his knee. He screamed in pain as he twisted unnaturally, also cracking loud enough to be audible.
Auria quickly leapt on top of the bar, dancing out of reach as another man came at her, a growl visibly rising in him and ripping through the air as he changed. Black fur sprouted along his arms and up his neck, growing on his extending face and short muzzle. Sharp fangs snapped at her as clawed hands reached for her legs. She leapt over his arms and ran down the bar, ignoring the curses thrown in her direction and the scared screams that followed when they caught sight of the Eraser following. She nimbly dodged the beer bottles and hands in her way, chuckling to herself when she glanced over her shoulder to find the Eraser left behind.
And then instead of hard wood in under her sneaker something sunk, sliding out from in under her and throwing her off balance. She hit her butt with a thud her laugh turning into a short shriek. She turned the fall into a slide, slipping off of the bar and leaping over a table as she flushed and looked around to see if anyone noticed how ungraceful she had just been but they all seemed properly distracted by the half man wolves in their vicinity. She felt her toes squelch and she looked down to see nacho cheese dripping off of her black shoes. It had found the hole worn through the side and she made a face in disgust. She couldn't focus on it for long however because the bar around her had exploded into a flurry of panic and chaos.
Auria was just a step away from the door, already open to freedom from people fleeing the monster in their presence, when she looked back. The Eraser was still shifted, wolf eyes on her as slobber dripped out of his snapping jaws. He was making his way to her through the crowd, but the sight of him had caused a few of the braver occupants throw chairs and whatever else they could find in his way. The crush of people trying to get away from him actually slowed him down as they pushed and screamed and Auria could easily slip out now and be long gone before he could catch up. But she could see whatever humanity the Eraser had start slipping, animal mania surfacing and taking control as he started to turn his claws on the humans around him. Pretty soon it would be his jaws, and she doubted whoever he got a hold of could survive that.
With a groan and angry inner monologue Auria turned back, irritated at herself and thankful that there were just two here. The first was still out cold. She had noticed the handsome face circling closer to her to the stool she had been sitting on, another darker man following in his wake. It hadn't taken much to figure out what they were. Or take them out and make her escape in this crowded bar. But then his friend had to go and lose control, not only endangering the defenseless humans but completely blowing his cover. Auria was pretty sure he wasn't suppose to let everyone know he was an Eraser, much less in New York. Auria had just been staring at Stark Tower less than an hour ago, that isn't the kind of attention they wanted.
She slid a knife out from the sheathe on her forearm, her loose jacket giving her room to drop it into her hand. Once more she jumped onto the bar, getting above all of the bystanders but this time she watched where she placed her feet. She looked around before nudging a startled man with one foot. He had been staring at the Eraser in shock and he leapt at her touch, turning to stare up at her so fearfully his mustache quivered.
"Easy there," she told him, leaning to lift his beer bottle off from the bar and holding it up for inspection.
"Mind if I borrow this?" Auria asked him politely and he burst into tears, only now running for the door. She rolled her eyes, tossing the bottle lightly and feeling the liquid swish. Good, almost completely full. Then she cocked her arm and threw , the glass bursting against the Erasers shoulder and spewing him with the foul smelling liquid. He snapped at it angrily, eyes rolling to find her.
"Come 'ere boy!" she called sarcastically, patting her legs as if calling for a puppy. The Eraser roared in anger, his human vocal cords screaming in rage until he reached a frequency that was almost a howl. The sound was unnerving and nearly everyone flinched, backing as far away from it as possible. The hair on the back of Auria's neck stood up, but she didn't look away as he stalked closer. Now focused on her, he seemed to ignore the people around them, no longer swiping them to get out of his way. He had found his prey, and it wasn't going anywhere.
"So, come here often?" Auria asked nervously, laughing at herself softly as he growled in response. She took a step back, his yellow eyes following the move and she slowly moved her other foot trying to keep him at a distance. But he took a step forward, bounding farther than he should've been able to with a broken leg, genetically strengthened muscles coiling as he leapt onto the bar in front of her and she jumped at the unexpected movement. He crouched over as he moved towards her and Auria froze for a moment unsure what to do now that she had his attention.
She watched the scramble for the door out of the corner of her eyes, unable to look away from the beast in front of her. If she did she knew he would be at her throat quicker than she could blink. She was relieved to find someone directing people away. At least someone kept their head in a crisis she decided, dismissing the people from her mind now that someone else was in charge. Besides, there wasn't much else she could do for them now, she kind of had her own problem to deal with. Her fingers tightened around the knife in her hand, only raising it slightly from where it was pointed at the ground. The Eraser's eyes darted to the blade, growling in response and moving closer.
"You don't have to do this. You have a choice, everyone does," Auria whispered, knowing he could hear her. The pointed ears that had sprouted from his black hair twitched at the sound of her calm voice and she thought she saw confusion in his yellow eyes. And then he leapt. She locked the scream of fear in her throat, knife darting upward to find his chest as his fangs closed inches from her throat. She instinctively rolled, pushing him off of the bar. They fell together but she was on top and she pulled her knife out holding it ready once more as she dug her knee into his wounded leg. He whined in pain, blood pouring out of his chest wound but she knew that wouldn't stop him for long.
His muzzled opened and she jumped at the hacking pant sound that came from between his teeth. It was laughing. Auria tried to turn as fear sizzled through her, knife slashing to protect herself but a large hand that was more like a paw closed around her throat, lifting all five feet eight inches of her off of the ground. She gasped in panic, trying to drag air into her lungs without any success. She could feel her neck bruising and the claws slowly digging into the back of her neck. Spots danced before her eyes as blood started sliding down her collar. It was the Eraser from before, a large bruise showing from beneath the tawny fur now growing on his face. He pulled her closer, foul breath brushing the hair away from her face as he stared into her eyes, enjoying her pain. His eyes were still green, all too human as they flared with pleasure at her gasps.
And then they widened in shock as she buried her knife in his throat. Pain flooded them as his hold instinctually tightened, causing Auria's world to go dark before he let go, paws going to his throat to stop the bleeding. Auria's hand slipped away from the hilt and she panicked as she lost her weapon and her vision. She gasped in agony and relief as she hit her knees, palms pressed against the gritty disgusting floor that was covered in spilt beer and who knows what kind of bodily fluids. She was beyond grateful to see the disgusting thing when her vision cleared and when she looked up the twitching corpse of the Eraser. She moved to stand up, starting to kneel as she turned to find her other attacker watching the dying Eraser in disbelief.
She pressed her hand against the floor, pushing herself into a standing position as he moved to revenge the fallen Eraser, only to watch him get shot in the chest. They both numbly stared at the holes that punched through his body, forcefully jerking him before they bloomed liked morbid roses, blood spreading across his chest from the three holes now in a tight formation over his heart. He sunk to his knees, hair retreating as lifted clawless fingers to his chest.
Auria turned to find the new assailant, pulling her blood covered knife out of the dead Eraser's neck. A man stood four feet away dark hair falling to rest on his shoulders. He emenated danger, face cold and body poised. His left hand was covered in a black glove, but it was empty. In his right hand he easily held a black gun, silencer on the end, but it was pointed at the ground and not her. She didn't for a second believe that he couldn't raise it quicker than she could run. She took a deep breath, every instinct in her telling her that this man was dangerous, from what she could see but more from what she could just feel from all of the years of being around killers. But then he blinked, face relaxing slightly as he looked at her for the first time and she noticed how blue his eyes were in his pale face. He looked unbelievably tired.
They stared at each other for a second, weapons in hand as they considered what to do next. And then someone came through the door and her eyes flickered towards him for a second before returning to watch the dark one. It was another man, the one she had seen earlier ushering people to safety. He was light where the first one was dark, short blonde hair in a handsome strong face. He was athletically built, bigger than the one with the gun but he didn't move the way the first one did. He was more of a soldier where the first one screamed killer.
But that second looking away was all it took for the tired man to relax, at least a bit. He slid the gun back in under his clothes, hiding it beneath his jacket but he still stood coiled, ready for anything. The blond man walked forward, gently setting one hand on his shoulder once he stood beside him. Auria noticed he had been loud in his movements, careful in his touch only once he was in eyesight. Even he knew he was around someone dangerous but it wasn't as if he feared him.
"Hey, are you all right, Miss?" the new man asked her and Auria's eyes flickered towards his face. He was concerned and she scowled at the way he exuded honesty. His eyes were also blue, lighter and open. Quite frankly it was unexpected ,and not to be trusted ,but she nodded in response, eyes once more going back to the man that tried to save her life. Tried, because she obviously had it handled. He more or less aided in saving her life. At her close inspection he seemed to look down, his face carefully expressionless but she could see the dark shadows around his eyes and the way his skin seemed too tight .
"Yes," she told the light one, eyes darting back to catch the first man's tortured blue eyes and adding quickly, "Thank you."
He didn't smile but his chin tilted up a bit and she nodded in acknowledgment. The man beside him radiated happiness, grinning at her with a smile that should melt her heart. Instead it caused her to back up a step. He frowned at the motion, seemingly confused, and she carefully watched him as she took another step back.
"I'm leaving now," she told them, not asking permission and the blonde one opened his mouth to say something, perhaps asking her a question or to tell her not too. Auria wasn't waiting to find out. She turned quickly, dashing to the door and twisting out of view before they could say anything. Her back prickled the entire time, knowing that if he had wanted she would have a bullet in her back quicker than she could escape. But the pain never came and she ran down the back alley quickly, ignoring her new aches and pains thanks to the Erasers.
She darted through a different alley, leaping to catch the top of a fence and pulling herself up it if, not quite effortlessly, a lot easier than it would have been for a human. Once on top she balanced herself instead of dropping to the other side. She walked down the edge and pulled herself up once again, onto someone's balcony. She trotted up the stairs, reaching the roof before running out of breath. Her throat ached and she needed to get away. If these Erasers could find her it was only a matter of time before more could, or this time they could send better Experiments. Perhaps some Elite. Not to mention her new 'friends'. It was hard to trust anyone, much less trained killers with pretty faces. Better to leave them behind quickly as well. Even if she couldn't stop thinking about haunted blue eyes.
"But you're hurt!" Steve exclaimed, moving to go after her but she was quick. She was out the door before he knew it. He could catch up if he wanted to, he could outrun anyone besides maybe Bucky, but he let her go. Instead he turned towards Bucky who still hadn't moved. He needed Steve more, and though it bothered him to let her run away while bleeding, from the look of the way she held that knife she could more than handle herself.
James Buchannan Barnes however was about to shut down. Steve turned towards him, making sure to catch his eyes as he stepped closer and pressed his hand gently to his shoulder. He could feel the tense muscles in under his hand, every inch of him was ready to run or kill. Or get punished. Steve pushed away his fury at the dull way Bucky's eyes looked away from him. He couldn't let Bucky see it, it wouldn't help.
"So, Buck, we go out once and you manage to find werewolves? Really?" Steve asked him teasingly, the tone of voice not fitting into any of the scenarios Bucky's mind was expecting. He looked up, confused and then a spark of amusement and even bitterness. He hated every moment that his body and mind controlled him. Steve stepped closer, draping his arm loosely over Bucky's shoulders so that it would only take a small shift to push it off. But he didn't.
Bucky felt relieved at the touch, grounding him, reminding him where he was. It was Steve. No longer scrawny, but still impossibly annoying and heroic Steve. He could still feel the cool resolve that settled over him when he had slid his weapon out and fired. It was easy, almost unthinking, and that should terrify him. But it didn't. He understood killing, where to shoot how to effortlessly take out a target. He had put it down within seconds. The girl was another thing. He had turned, evaluating her, slender, young, knife left hand, wounded, easy to kill. Not a danger.
When his eyes had met hers he could see the fear there, the acknowledgment that he could take her life easily. It was to be expected, he was relieved to see it. It hurt. The new part of him that had a choice, that wasn't just a weapon, that had emotions had seen the way distrust made her watch him. Her eyes were grey and they knew what he was. And then Steve had come back, footsteps even, weight appropriate, careful when he came to rest by his side. She had looked at him and whatever held him had broke. He realized that he had easily just killed without a second thought and was staring down a young woman in a destroyed bar. He had slowly put away his weapon, her eyes frightened and watching him like some innocent deer that had caught sight of a wolf. But oh this deer had seen wolves before.
He was just a killer, one that had snapped, one that had killed without permission. He could feel the fear pull at him and scrape across his mind, taking him to a place where this one didn't make any sense. Steve being here and caring about him made less sense to his injured mind than the place where you expect pain. His mind was just echoing, hurting in bursts at the way his body knew what to expect, knew what was about to happen. Steve making lousy jokes wasn't suppose to be it. His words seeped into his brain, cracking the fear slightly in an incredulous start of surprise. Not enough to abandon him, but for him to look up and catch sight of his best friend, here beside him. To feel the warmth and contact of his arm across his shoulders.
"Come on, you know the minute Stark hears that we were here we are never going to hear the end of it. We might as well head back and get some quick rest while we can," Steve told him, but he didn't push him. Didn't make him move if he wasn't ready. Bucky suddenly sighed, shoulders drooping and Steve frowned as Bucky's head drooped, knowing he couldn't see his sad expression. He let himself look worried for his best friend while it was okay.
Guilt consumed Bucky, at what had happened, at once again losing control, of never being okay. Steve deserved so much more than the broken person he had to look after because he was so pathetic he was scared of himself. He should be. Everyone should be scared of him, they should just put him down.
"Sorry," Bucky managed, but Steve snorted, squeezing gently in the closest thing to a hug he would try right now and Bucky knew Steve would never let them even if Bucky deserved it. Steve was still just as stubborn as the sick boy who got beat up in alleys and kept coming back for more.
"No need. You saved lives today, Bucky," Steve reminded him gently and Bucky looked over at the bodies still on display. One was still half animal, fur and claws and a face grotesquely stretched into the resemblance of a canine muzzle. He had never seen anything like it, at least not that he remembered and yet the sight made him shiver and his head ache.
"I was pretty sure I had finally leapt off of the cliff and took a dive into insanity," Bucky told him and Steve followed his eyes to the creature.
"I don't blame you. I have never seen anything like it, and believe me I would have remembered if this had come up in any report the Avengers had received," Steve told him and Bucky shifted his weight nonchalantly removing Steve's arm. But then he hesitantly raised his hand and squeezed Steve's shoulder, a silent thank you that he couldn't say. Steve turned as Bucky moved towards the door, pausing to let Steve lead the way. One thing was for sure, Stark was really going to enjoy this.