1953-07-21 - Spies Like Us: Part 2
Summary: Carol gets chewed out.
Related: Spies Like Us: Part 1
Theme Song: None
carol bucky 

"You had him in your custody for /five seconds/, Danvers. You're saying— you're gonna stand here with a straight face and tell me -one man-, in a mask, walked in and neutralized your entire goddamned team?"

Kowalski punctuated every word with a jab of his finger into the kitchen table. There were five agents using the empty private dining room at the back of the restaurant, so three of them were politely pretending not to pay attention to the thorough ass-chewing Carol was getting. It'd been going for a solid ten minutes, with Carol unable to offer more than a murmured 'yes sir' or 'no sir'.

"And you just let him walk off! No pursuit, no attempt to follow, and you say he just -vanished-? What kind of bullshit are you trying to sell?" he growls, rubbing at the stump of his left arm— a souvenier from his airborne jump over France most of a decade ago.

"It's not quite that simple, Kowalski," comes another man's voice. The eyes in the room flicker to the door that's opened, towards a portly fellow with a sour disposition and wearing a hundred-dollar trenchcoat. Even his shoes are nicer than what the lead agents are wearing.

"Sir!" Kowalski leaps to his feet, but the fellow waves him off.

"At ease, gentlemen. Good afternoon, Agent Danvers," the portly fellow gravels, removing his fedora. CIA Deputy Director Pete Allan turns and gestures for the men behind him to open the doors, and— well, literally the last person Carol Danvers would expect walks in, leaving outside a handful of armed aides to stare down their American counterparts.

Pavel Andropovich, regional director for the KGB and attache to the Stasi in Germany. He removes his cap as well, nodding at Carol— a rail thin man with a sallow complexion, quite pale and almost birdlike in his movements. Much like Director Allan, he's exquisitely coiffed and dressed. "Good afternoon," he says, in a heavy Georgian accent.

"Gentlemen, the room, please. No, Agent Danvers— you stay," he says, as the aides file out, leaving Andropovich, Kowalski, and Danvers in the room together. "I'm sure you've got some questions, and there's someone I want you to meet."

The agents exit, and in the small hubbub of people coming and going, in walks a fellow who Carol might recognize, except sans his mask and wearing a heavy trenchcoat— her attacker from the day previous.

They lock eyes.


Carol Danvers didn't mind this. It was far preferable to being called 'little lady', or having her gender being used against her. That stuff would come later in life, and drive her to drink after being demoted to hell and back.

Kowalski was treating her like the capable professional she was.

And she had given up on responding with the yes sirs, and no sirs. Instead, she stood there - pride straightening her spine, chin lifted - parade ground straight lines to her back and stance.

But she says one thing, interjecting it into Kowalski's tirade. "He… it… wasn't human," she says. No doubt Kowalski was about to hit her with another double-barrel tirade, the attention to his stump briefly drawing Danver's attention that way. Part of another reason why she respected the man.

At ease.

It was easy enough to remove the tension from her stance, to draw her hands behind her back and widen her feet. Her attention shifts to the portly fellow. And fixates on him. The Deputy Director? Here? And beyond him. Tension fills her body.

"Sir, this man is the man who caused me to lose the asset," she says, flickering her eyes towards the eyes of the man. Something about him triggered some distant memory. He didn't look Russian, not to her eyes. Her own eyes narrow a bit, and the blonde Agent turns her eyes back towards the director.

"Sir - what is the meaning of this?" she asks.

Behind her, her at ease hands twist into fists - a tension seen in her shoulders as well.


"Yes, I know," the Deputy Director says. He waits for the door to be closed, and then he and Andropovich takes seats at opposites side of a table, gesturing for the other three to join in facing them.

The strange attacker and Danvers, naturally, are a bit standoffish, so Kowalski gets in the middle. It takes a little too long to do, and irritation shows on the spymaster's faces.

"What I'm about to tell you is beyond top secret," Director Allan says. "No one outside of this room has the authority to request information on it. This comes down from the highest of authorities," he explains, eyes hard and flickering at Danvers.

Andropovich speaks up. "After the fall of Germany, many former Nazis disappeared. Some went to Argentina, others to Africa and the former Boer nations. Unfortunately," he exhales, "some of them did not simply retreat into the night."

"Right. Last we heard, a Baron Heimrich Zemo had managed to escape the fall of the Third Reich. We weren't sure where he went— Transia, most likely, but he travelled incognito. However, as one of Hitler's lead scientists, he had access to a lot of Nazi weaponry and research. Now we think instead of auctioning that information off to the highest bidder, he's planning on continuing weapons development to carve out a Fourth Reich with himself as the leader of the puppet state."

"Obviously, we can't allow that, Andropovich says. "So the US and Russia are setting aside our differences for this mission. This is our best agent— codenamed Winter," he says, gesturing at the short, brawny fellow. "It is our intention, Agent Danvers, that you and Winter locate the source of the new weapons we're hearing about, ascertain if Baron Zemo still lives, and shut down his operation."


A handful of moments after the gesture to sit.

A handful of moments for Carol to breathe in, and breathe out, forcing calm into limbs suddenly surging with adreneline and action. Breath in - and breath out - letting shoulders relax as she reaches out a hand to pull her chair away from the table, folding a seat.

One leg over the other for modesty, and her hands fold in her lap - the nails of one digging into the forearm of the other. She lets none of this tension reveal itself in her face. Leaving it, perhaps, as cold as the face of the man she looks at, as she finally turns to regard the Winter Soldier.

She lets her eyes track across the features and otherwise of the Russian agent - but turns her attention back towards the KGB handler. Briefly after the briefing, her eyes flicker back to the CIA Director, mollifed by the nod of his head.

"I understand," she states. "But I have to ask - why me? To work with him?" she inquires.


"The KGB is sending their best, Danvers," Director Allan says, in that low growling voice. He does resemble nothing so much as a well-groomed bulldog at times. "I'm sending my best, too. You'll keep track of one another. Look over each other's shoulders."

Kowalski's eyes bug out a little at the assertion that Carol's the best. A decent man, Kowalski, but a bit blinded by his perspective that Danvers should have been a secretary— maybe a nurse.

But he keeps his trap shut.

"The woman is weak." Winter speaks in Russian, finally, and his voice apparently just /sounds/ like that, even without the mask on— raspy with disuse, a bit hoarse. Gravelly. "I don't need her along."

"You'll bring her and you will show the proper courtesy to an American agent," Andropovich rebuts, his cool, urbanely measured tones— well educated, this man. "This is a joint operation and she is who the Americans are sending with you."


"I won't let you down, Director," says Carol. Even if she says this with a tightness to her voice. Eyes flicker from him to Winter. There was little uncertainty in her gaze - all of that rested in her heart. The man had humilated her and ruined her mission. He was some kind of unstoppable killing machine. And he had hurt/wounded many of the people on her squad.

She'd like nothing more than to draw her sidearm and put a bullet in his head, and see if he had metal brains as well.

But she remains in her seat. But maybe, just maybe, he could feel the heat of that held hatred in her otherwise calm gaze. Danvers glances back towards Kowalski.

He speaks in Russian. Carol purses her lips, catching the little conversation. To reveal that she understood them would reveal that particular card a little too early, just to spend it to satisfy her own ego.

She keeps quiet.

"Very well. Will we be travelling together to Transia - or will we have arrangements made by our respective governments?" she inquires.


"Arrangements have been made. Danvers, you're being promoted for the duration of this mission. Senior Special Agent in Charge," Allan says, passing her the orders for her promotion. Kowalski makes a strangled noise— she'd just been promoted past him (being a special agent), and been put in charge of the operation.

"Kowalski is your attache, but he'll be working from your remote facilities and coordinating logistics support. You and Agent Winter are a team on this— I don't think I need to remind both of you to be grownups and find a way to get along as partners," Allan says, rolling a reprimanding eye at the Russian agent.

"The train for Transia leaves in an hour. Grab your bag and kit, and you'll meet Kowalski at the train station for your boarding passes and the full mission dossiere. Kowalski, with me. Let's walk and talk."

Nearby, Andropovich is giving Winter almost the same instructions in his eloquent, murmuring Russian.

"Once in Transia, you're going to be on your own, though. Support's going to be limited, because Transia hasn't joined the national accords. Be smart, be safe, be careful." He rises, nodding at Andropovich, and gets to his feet.

"Good luck, Agent Danvers," he tells the leggy blonde, before he and the KGB officer leave the room.

Out in the main restaurant, the two men shake hands and part ways— and literally everyone in the restaurant leaves their booths and chairs, and follows one or the other.

Which leaves Winter Soldier and Carol Danvers alone in the restaurant's back room. The Soviet gives Carol a hostile, hard once-over, thoroughly appraising her. If she was hoping for equality, she's got it— Winter looks at her more like a hunk of meat than most of her fellow CIA agents, who mostly just see her… legs.


It was impossible not to realize that many of the men she worked with did see her that way. Legs. Danvers had that… 'charge ahead, get it done anyways in spite of their stupidity' form of stubbornness. But to be promoted past Kowalski. Yes. The man was brutish sometimes to her, but she respected him - perhaps wrongly, for his service and the frank way he dealt with her face to face.

At his strangled noise, Carol looks to him.

And perhaps her eyes soften, just a touch, before she turns her eyes back towards Allan.

Standing up, and straightening again, she keeps her eyes upon Allan. As if she was unaware of what they were saying. And so there they were. Carol glances up towards Winter, returning that cold stare with one of her own. A handful of moments more, and she says. "Neither of us want to work with the other," she states. "But I need your skills, and you need the support of the American assets in the area. All I can say is…"

A moment further, and her voice darkens. "I'd prefer if you didn't give me a reason to think of revenging my men," she states, her tone of voice cold. Another beat, her tone of voice sharp. Used to command, perhaps.

"Do you have your equipment and supplies ready? An hour's time is not long."


Winter stares at Carol. "Da. I am ready," he confirms, after a pregnant pause. "Until the train, then."

With that, he turns and simply walks out of the room without a second word, leaving Carol alone in the room.

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