1964-05-04 - Alumna Talk
Summary: Natasha and Ava discuss how to handle the Winter Soldier.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
ava natasha 

It has been a very busy few weeks at SHIELD. They've had the Winter Soldier, almost lost him, had him, lost him, and now have him again. And it seems like each time, Ava finds herself…well, just as outmatched as she was the first time. She's starting to think the bruises around her throat are just going to be permanent, like some sort of metal-fingered tattoo from one too many times going up against the man.

But for all the faith Ava may have in her abilities, she knows where a good portion of them come from. She knows that deep down, she's just a reflection of someone else's skills and talents. And if she can't handle it…Well, then she knows how to go to the source.

In theory.

To Ava's advantage, learning her skills from someone else's mind gives her a unique insight into how they think and work. But that doesn't mean that finding the Black Widow is easy. And since her chosen web is here in the nicer part of the city? Ava has traded out her usual armor of an oversized coat in favor of a dark green dress with a full skirt, a scarf over her hair, and a pair of oversized sunglasses that hide most of her features.

She blends in well enough at the cafe across the street from the office. Well enough for normal life. To the most highly trained spy? It's an invitation.


It still remains to be seen what Natasha is doing at Fisk Industries. Her talents are rather wasted, or, at least, appear to be wasted, in the large office building. That said, Ava had been waiting for the better part of an hour before a familiar redhead emerges from the lobby of the building.

The black pencil skirt, blue chiffon blouse, and stiletto heels reflect her social status as secretary. She treads to the cafe, and trails up to the counter.

The barista receives a very musical order: lemonade. Half-sweet. Even the teeter of Natasha's laugh reflects the mark of someone other — not the Russian spy, but Natalie.

Once she receives her drink, she sits at the table behind Ava. And she twirls the straw in her drink several times before murmuring to the woman behind her, "I assume this is more than a social call," her voice is warm like honey as she talks to the woman behind her back.


Ava still has tastes that come from a childhood of want - she's been sitting at that table nursing a single bag of tea doctored up with all the free creamer and sugar she can add for the last hour or so, like it's nothing out of the ordinary. SHIELD pays her a salary - it's just that she hoards it all in case something goes wrong.

She takes a sip of her tea without looking over her shoulder at the other woman, quiet for another moment as she chooses her words. Words she's been mulling over for a long time.

"What do you know about the Winter Soldier?"


Natasha's expression remains painfully neutral at the question — not that Ava could see it anyways. She stirs her drink, causing the ice cubes to clink against the glass of her drink. Her lips quirk up on one side and she takes a long sip of her lemonade.

She hums softly to herself. "So you met him," it's not an answer, but it's clearly a response. She heard Ava, she just chooses her own words wisely. Absently, her fingers trail to her neck. "He doesn't remember himself. What I know is irrelevant if his memory has been lost."


"More than once," Ava replies, grimacing. "His memory is…in flux." She squeezes the last bit of lemon into her cup, stirring a spoon slowly through the tepid, pale tea. "At times he is himself. And others?" She takes a deep breath, letting it out on a heavy sigh.

"At others, he is a danger to anyone around him."

She falls silent again, fingers tapping on the table. "The first time we met, he tried to use…certain words to trigger me."


Natasha sips on her lemonade and stares at the wall in front of her. The coolness of her back doesn't give any hint to her thoughts. Nor does the very deadpanned way her shoulders remain even and well-postured.

"Make no mistake, sister, he's always a danger to anyone around him."

Her lips press into a thin line and her chin drops slightly. "What words?"


"Considering that the red room did not do any conditioning on me, and yet the words put me down with a splitting headache, I think it is probably best if I do not speak them to you in case they did to you, yes?" Ava draws a pen from her pocket, starting to write slowly on a napkin next to her tea.

To a disinterested onlooker, it probably looks like she's just doodling, wasting even more time at the cafe. When she's finished, she turns as though to look at something across the street, her elbow knocking the napkin and sending it drifting to the ground next to Natasha.

Amidst the doodles are hidden words: Solchnechyy svet. Yobloko. Seryy.


Green eyes trail down to the doodle. Her lips purse into an irritated circle. Natasha inhales a long deep breath and holds it in her lungs. Her hands fold on the table, fingers knitting together into a tight ball. "This is… concerning," as if nothing was before the mention of the words.

Her fingers tap the table beside the doodle, and with some measure of perplexion, she hums softly to herself, considering the situation. "There are concerns about him. I had thought — " no, she doesn't finish the thought. THere's a long silence and she hums, "Is he still at large?"


"Well, I do not currently have my eyes on him, so I cannot be sure," Ava drawls, dry, as she carefully turns her tea cup until it sits just as she'd like. "The last time I was there when he tried to escape, I released every bit of power I had into him to put him down. The next time, I was not there."

She doesn't say that it's damaged her trust in the agents currently at SHIELD, but it's certainly implied. And while she made the man a promise, she can't spend every waking hour at headquarters. Not and maintain her own sanity.


Natasha hums again; it's a low nearly sultry sound. She lifts the lemonade and takes a long drink of her lemonade, sucking around the ice cubes in the bottom of the glass as she finishes her lemonade. Her nostrils flare and she stares at a spot on the table.

"They can't contain him," she murmurs quietly. "Not even those that made him can do it when his brain is broken." Her jaw tightens and then relaxes. "What do you need?"


"The words." Ava stares down into her cup, eyes narrowed behind her sunglasses. "If he tried to use them on me, he knew about them. Thought they were standard. Which means there are almost certainly ones that will do the same to him. If we can find those words, then we can either buy time to find someone who can undo what has been done to his mind…"

She trails off, pouring a little more cream into her tea. "And if we cannot do that, then at least we can control him. Have a chance at shutting him down that isn't putting a bullet in his brain."


Natasha's hand trails back to her lap. The glass is pushed away from her and her chin lifts in near defiance. "Consider it handled," she murmurs. "I'll get what we need and go from there. And, perhaps, I'll be able to find some reinforcement."


Ava nods slightly, lifting her tea to take a longer drink. At this point, it's really more tea-flavored cream and sugar, but hey, she's a growing girl. She'll work it off when she gets back to HQ. "He is off the rails," she says quietly. "And there are…too many people who have soft hearts for him. They will want to save him. An while they try, more will die."


"Then we will do what needs to be done," Natasha replies blandly. "As always." There's a long pause as she slides away from the table. "Dispassionate as we are, it's out of necessity." She turns on her heel. "Be well, seestra."


"Be well," Ava echoes, leaning back in her chair once more. No sense in leaving at the same time, letting anyone connect the two women who sat here. They are cautious for a reason, after all.


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