1964-06-20 - Wild Goose Chase
Summary: Cap and Sharon head to Australia in search of Bucky
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers sharon 

Steve is in his room putting the final touches on packing his duffel bag. He's booked the next available flight to Australia. Does he have the money for it? Not really. Does he have to go? Yes. There's just been another confirmed Bucky sighting and he has to know. Month by month he's been on this roller coaster and he needs to find out the truth, even if that truth is just some form of impostor.

He grabs the duffel and exits the room, headed down the hallway.

While Sharon is still trying to find her place in the world, she did tell him that yes, she'd step up to the Avengers if the others wanted her, so she hasn't moved out. She's been helping out around the house, restoring things, mowing the lawn, getting the back pool up and going, any other tasks they need. She's not near so fast as Steve or Carol is, but she helps. And it seems she's actually gotten the pool functional, because she's just coming back up the bedroom hall in a black bikini, all her muscles, scars and faint curves shown off beneath still slightly damp flesh. Her mind is a million miles away, so they almost plow right into each other with his rush down the hall. She blinks and stumbles back, "Hey… Steve… What… What's wrong? What happened?" She can just tell.

"Sharon, hey," Steve says as he side steps, careful not to plow her over. He notices the bikini and can't help but raise his eyebrows, "Hey." He shakes his head, getting back to the important stuff. "What? Oh, right." His mood falters a bit. "There are news reports out there that Bucky was just seen in Australia. I'm going to go and investigate it. See what I can find."

Whether she even remembers she's in a bikini, or doesn't really care to be modest, isn't clear. She's not bothering to cover anything up. Sharon just looks him over, her blue eyes lidding in a bit of concern as she finally wraps her towel around her waist (her torso is still nice and mostly bare.) "Bucky?…You're…old friend, right? The one SHIELD lost a while back. Shit…I thought he was dead? I'll go with you. Just… just let me get dressed. You shouldn't go alone."

Steve nods, "Yeah, that's him. I thought he was dead too." When she offers to go with him, he tilts his head in confusion. "You're serious? You want to go halfway across the world on the drop of a dime?" He re-positions his bag on his shoulder, unsure of what to say. That's certainly generous of her.

A slightly too-sure smirk crosses her full mouth and she folds her arms across her chest. "Steve…I work..ed… For the CIA. That was my job — going across the world at the drop of a dime. I'd much rather do it for someone I care about. And I can already tell your head's a mess over this. You aren't going to be on top of your game, especially not alone. Let me help you." Sharon seems dead serious. In fact, she looks like she might be stubborn about it now and insist on coming, especially seeing that look in his eyes.

"Well, alright," Steve says with a shrug of his shoulders. "If you're sure. I mean, going to Australia is a pretty expensive flight. I can try and cover what I can, but with the mansion and all." He tilts his head at her, "You sure you want to do this?" He nods his head towards the back stairwell. "I've got to leave in about 10 minutes to make the flight. If you're still sure, meet me at my motorcycle."

"I'm sure. And I have 8 years of back pay saved. I'm pretty sure I can swing a plane ticket or two. Let me change…" And with that, Sharon half dashes down the hall towards the guest bedroom she'd been given to stay in. She still only has a single bag, a few extra sets of clothes she's bought since being here. She doesn't even bother with the shower, just a quick dry off and pulling on jeans and a black shirt. She packs like a woman who is used to having a go bag. It will be less than ten minutes before she's ready.

Within the hour the pair are taking off from New York. The flight is long, the seats are cramped, and the peanuts…well, the peanuts are good. Steve is tough to read at the beginning, staying mostly quiet, but once they're airborne for a while, he leans over and says, "You know…the last time I was on a plane and a Carter was involved, I didn't do so well with the landing."

Sharon smells faintly of chlorine and sunshine, but most of the motorcycle ride kills that. She's packed even lighter than when she first came back, so it's easy to get it in a saddle bag. She doesn't mind the lack of chatter, though she flashes an ID which gets her straight through customs without a single question. On the plane, she looks right at home. She really has done this what feels like a hundred times. She's almost on the edge of dozing off when his voice actually dares at conversation. Her pale eyes flicker back open, towards his probably somewhat cramped frame and handsome face. A ghost of a smile touches her lips, "From the choice words she said about it, you were the one stubborn about that landing. Didn't even give Uncle Howard a shot to get you somewhere safe."

"Let's not overplay Uncle Howard's role in all of this. Don't forget, it was him who never found me," Steve says with a chuckle. He has given her the window seat, naturally, and so he has to look across her out to the night sky. Their travels will take them to Los Angeles first. Then a stop in Hawaii, and then the last leg to Sydney. It's one hell of a long trip. "You know, it'd be funny if we got there and it was someone who just looked like him." Oh well, after defeating Doom, Steve Rogers could use a vacation.

"If we get there and it's just someone who looks like him… well, I need to stop and talk to a few contacts anyway, but then we're going to a fucking beach. The US has really shit beaches." Sharon mutters with just a slightly stifled yawn. With the size of his shoulders, she's leaning against him no matter what. It doesn't seem to bother her. Hell, she might actually be sort of doing it on purpose, that simple human touch rather soul healing in and of itself.

Steve seems to recoil a bit when she swears, "I've always liked the beaches in the United States. I've only really seen France, and only part of it, so maybe I just haven't seen a true beach yet." He grins at her, "You can get some sleep if you want. We've got a really long trip ahead of us."

As she feels him actually flinch when she swears, Sharon blinks and cannot help but laugh a little. "Sorry…I… Keep forgetting what a boyscout you are. And, that solves it. No matter WHAT happens, we're going to a beach over there. Though…" She considers, "It's creeping up on winter now. What side of the continent are we going to again? Might be too cold. Still worth a good walk."

"He was seen in Sydney," Steve says with a shrug. "Where that takes us, I don't really know. He went to some concert…I think they're called the bugs or something?"

"Sydney? Shouldn't be too cold yet… maybe not swimming weather, but it'll be nice." Sharon murmurs, like she's got the weather patterns of most major countries memorized. Because she probably does. She then sinks her head a little to the side, resting on the crest of his shoulder, some of her blonde hair brushing against his neck. "We'll figure it out, Steve. I'm one of the best the CIA trained in the last decade. YOu're his best friend. Between the two of us…No one in the world could hide forever."

"Well, unless he's dead." Steve sighs and shakes his head. "I just wonder how many times this sort of thing is going to happen. It's a story that just doesn't seem to have an end. In the past year alone there have been so many starts and stops."

"Tell me what reason you have to believe he's not dead…" Sharon murmurs so, so softly. It's the sort of tone reserved for intimate moments or bedside conversations. A tone that says she might be half asleep but her mind is still quite working on this problem and she'd rather no one else on the plane hear them. So, she keeps leaned in close, keeps those whispers going, and listens to the man at her side.

"It's hope," Steve says as he turns to face her as she whispers close to his ear. "That's really all it is. This could be a gigantic goose chase. I hope you're alright with that."

That admission actually makes her eyes open again, so she can turn her head enough to look up into his blue gaze. Her fingertips come over, resting on his knee silently. She gives a single, reassuring sort of squeeze. The most human gesture from her yet, almost tender, really. "Then…that's enough. I'm alright with that. You'd be surprised when, sometimes, hope is the only thing that keeps you going. It has to be enough."

"It has to be," Steve says as he returns her look. "At the same time, I know that this might end up being more about me than about him. I want to believe he's alive."

A few quiet moments pass, Sharon on the edge of leap she's not totally certain she should take, but then she studies his gaze, that entirely too vunerable look in his eyes, and finally her hand comes up. She traces a few fingertips through his hair, keeping that blonde back off his eyes. "That's alright too. If it's about you…that is okay. You can actually be a person for once, Steve. You don't always have to be the big hero."

Steve makes a face and shrugs his shoulders a bit. "I'm not sure that I can. That's my job. It's what I signed up for." He makes no move to pull away from her as she caresses his head.

"Hey." Sharon doesn't remain with that intimate a touch, but her hand reaches for his, giving a tight squeeze, "You aren't your job. You're a person too, okay? End of story. Am I nothing but my job? Because if you are, then I am too." She seems dead serious about that, even if it's a question she's been asking herself a lot lately.

"I don't know the answer to that question," Steve responds honestly. He sits back with a bit of a groan. "When we get there we'll be able to see if there's anything to this or not. That'll make things easier one way or another." Either the chase is back on. Or, it's not.

Not exactly the answer she was hoping for, but probably the closest one to the truth. Something in Sharon pulls back, that softness which had been there, if just for a few minutes, quickly disappearing away. She releases his hand and sits straighter, giving just a bit of a nod, "…yeah… I guess I don't really know it either." She admits quietly, looking forward now. "We'll figure it out when we get there. We've got the chops for this. If he's there, we'll find him."

The layovers are a bit of a pain and for a good, long while it seems as though they are never going to get there. Steve tries his best to sleep, often times passing out against her shoulder, but never for very long. It's not something about planes, he's not worried about that at all. It's the idea of Bucky being alive. After 20 some hours on the plane, they finally begin the descent into Sydney.

After she pulled back into herself, Sharon mostly sleeps against the window. One time, however, as he tucks against her shoulder, she sinks to that side, her cheek against his hair. It's the longest stretch for which she sleeps, her warmth half around him. It felt nice to not be alone. She jerks awake the moment he stirs, though, especially as the plane is descending. "…hate…international flights… " She grumbles quietly, shifting stiffly. "…when we get off, put on your hat. I'm Marcia Conners and you're Eric. We're honeymooning here. There will be other luggage waiting for us." She did make one phone call, after she packed. Sharon still has contacts everywhere. She reaches into her jacket, pulling out a set of wedding rings.

"Eric?" Steve says as he takes the ring and slides it onto his finger. He shrugs as if to say that it's not a bad name. "What other stuff am I supposed to know? What do I do? How do I feel about meatloaf?" Steve reaches into his duffel bag, which he's keeping under his seat, and pulls out a New York Yankees hat.

While Sharon is far less remarkable than Steve, she does put on a pair of oversized, slightly ridiculous looking sunglasses. His questions do manage to get a laugh out of her, "I don't know, make it up. I had these IDs made for us in a 2 minute conversation." She gives him a LOOK over the top of her glasses, trying to keep it serious, "But you hate meatloaf. Unless it's mine. Then you love it because I work magic in the kitchen." Then she's cracking a smile, those words meant to be a tease. Once that's done, she slips out of their seats with him, easily looping her arm through his as they move to get off the plane.

"Eric! We *maaaade* it. GOD that flight was long… I need a DRINK." Her annoying Brooklyn housewife accent could not be more perfect or more American. Already a few people are rolling their eyes and turning away.

"Yes, dear," Eric responds, playing up the dopey angle a bit. Steve chuckles to himself as they walk alongside one another. He puts on his sunglasses as well, hoping to stay concealed. It certainly feels good to get out from that cramped plane. "We go half way around the world and first thing y'wanna do is have a drink. Ya could have a drink at Frank's. We're in Australia for cripes sake."

The blonde gives him a momentarily impressed look, cracking a half smile as he gets right into the role. Sharon keeps her arm there, leading the way to baggage claim. She's been through this airport before. "Yes, but there will be DIFFERENT drinks in Australia! And it's MY honeymoon! I get a drink! After the hotel…" She falls into more casual, random chattering with him. At the carousel, there is a man in a bright shirt and sunglasses, tour guide looking, holding a sign that says 'Conners'. He already has their bags. Sharon goes up to the man, giving a little nod, "Winter's coming early, no?"

The man's response is a bit too deadpan for his shirt, "Always is this time of year." And, with that line, Sharon's shoulders slightly relax. Apparently, it was the right pass phrase. She made all this happen in a single call. Maybe she had more clout in the CIA than she pretended. The car is soon whisking them off to the tallest hotel in Sydney at 22 floors. They've got the penthouse honeymoon suite on the very top floor. Also a perfect sniper position for most of the city.

Once they get to the room, Steve removes the hat and then the shades. "Any chance you can get me an interview with the Chief of Police?" Maybe Steve could just walk up and get the interview himself. Either way, it's clear that after a good night's sleep he's going to need to get going right in the morning. "Naturally you get the bed," Steve says. "I'll take the couch."

"Possibly… I don't do a ton with local government but… I'll see who Jared knows." Sharon murmurs, after they are up in the elegant room. It's a king sized bed, there is an in room hot tub, and windows on three sides of the room, looking out over the north, west and south sides of the city. She, meanwhile, is unzipping a few of the extra bags the driver brought in with them. She's got a small arsenal there. One long rifle with the highest tech scope possible, good for monitoring the city from these windows, and a few smaller weapons, including some experimental stun/knock out things.

After a few moments, she seems satisfied. "All here. I owe Jared the largest bottle of bourbon. He likes that Kentucky stuff." She mutters as she begins to put it back away. "And we both get the bed. THat thing is big enough to swim in. I promise I don't cuddle." She smirks to him.

Steve chuckles, "Well, that's a shame." He takes his wallet out of his pants and sets it on the table. "I suppose we'll know more about where to go after we talk to the authorities. I should have asked before we left, but how quickly do you need to get back to New York?"

"I don't. I took a leave of absence. If they want me back… When they want me back, they're going to have to BEG me with the best assignment in the world. They'll come crawling back soon, but…for now, I'm a free agent." She then begins peeling out of her shirt, removing the single gun and two knives she's had hidden on her person, and then her slacks. Just in her black sports bra and panties, she crawls up onto the bed. "…sorry if I wake you up. I… sleep like hell, sometimes. I'll try to be quiet." She admits to him softly, after a handful of moments.

Steve pulls out of his shirt and begins to undo his pants. "This isn't awkward for you?" Steve asks, a bit nonplussed. He seems a little shy but joins her in the bed. For a while, it's silent.

"Steve… I've had sex with nearly complete strangers just to get information out of them the government needed. I've slept in flop houses and trees before. Sleeping in a bed bigger than my first apartment next to the first person I've been able to trust in years? It… it's not awkward. Hell, if I dared to think about it a minute or two… it might even be nice." Sharon whispers quietly into the now darkened room, still staring up at the ceiling. It'll take her forever to fall asleep. It always does. Especially when things are too quiet, too pleasant.

Something that she says sort of surprises him and he goes quiet. "Yeah, I guess you're right." He waits for a bit, but knowing that she won't be asleep he finally speaks. "Do you think he's actually alive? Or have we come halfway across the world just for a goose chase?"

Certainly not asleep, though she's trying. She SHOULD be asleep. She should be tired. But her eyes are still open, staring into the darkness, trying not to be driven quietly insane by just how quiet it is. When he speaks again, after she shocked or maybe even disturbed him with her honesty, she almost feels relieved. SHe considers quietly, "… I read the file. The body wasn't recovered. It looked like a cover up job. I bet he's alive. I also bet we're too late here. Flying across an ocean gave him plenty of time to ghost again."

"You're probably right. We'll shake a few trees and see if we get anything." Steve sighs. "You know, I thought this was a really good idea when we left. Now I kind of realize I wasted your time. Sorry about that."

The woman lazily rolls over, the outline of the city behind her lighting up the silohuette of her curving frame. In this position, she looks more feminine than she possibly ever has before, a few more curves, a bit more softness than she normally shows. "…Even if he's gone, we'll get some information. Confirm he was here. We'll know he's alive before this is over. That will be worth it. Besides…" SHe cracks a half smile, "Getting away is a little nice too."

Steve chuckles and nods, "I guess you're right. After Latveria it's nice to take a day or so." He goes quiet, before adding, "When was the last time you took a real vacation?"

The woman just blinks at that question, not actually able to answer it at first. Sharon frowns, considering with a slow, deep sigh, "…Disneyland…when I was 12? I think? We went to some lake when I was 15… but once I started training with SHIELD, I sorta put vacations behind me. Even more so with the CIA. But hell… I don't know what I'd even do with one. I'm going crazy in New York right now as is."

"Do you think you'll stay in the city long term? I mean, until the CIA comes with your next mission, I mean?" Steve asks. "If you don't like it there, that might be something you should consider. I don't want to hold you hostage at the mansion."

"…If I have a reason to stay. You're not holding me hostage. Hell…if you meant it, about the Avengers, I've been thinking it over. I think I might really like to help you all. I know I don't have superpowers but I'm damn effective when I try. Otherwise, really… Where else would I go? My only family's in the city and the rest of the country would be just as boring." Sharon offers with a half smile, a drowsy touch of hope in her eyes, though, as she discusses the Avengers.

Steve nods, "I do mean it, and I think you'd be an excellent addition. Sure, you don't have powers, per se. But you've got a lot of skills. And you have skills that might sometimes be more important than powers."

"Then it's settled. Let the others know, make certain they are fine with it, and I'm on bored. It'll give me SOMEWHERE to put my energy." Sharon admits with a half wry smile. Then her expression softens a bit, staring across the darkness into his quiet blue eyes. She just studies him for several heartbeats. "… and seriously, Steve, this… wasn't a waste. I was happy to get away. Especially… With you."

"Sounds good. I'll put a message out to the team once we get back," Steve says as he smiles at her. If she could see him, she'd see him blush at her comment, "Well I sure do appreciate you coming all the way down here. Means a lot."

"Any time, Steve. Seriously. You… gave me a ride. A… home… when I really didn't have a damn thing left in the world. I'm crappy at saying thanks or…showing how much it means, but… Thank you." She reaches out, fingertips tracing up his arm for a gentle but firm, warm squeeze.

Steve gives a closed mouth smile, "You're welcome, Sharon. You'd have done the same for me. And, come to think of it, you're aunt probably would have set you up if you asked her to."

"I… would rather not ask my aunt for anything. I've stood in her shadow damn well long enough. I can stand on my own." Even if Peggy had been the one to ask Steve to go pick her up, it was a bit weird that Peggy didn't do it herself. Apparently, relations are a hint strained there, still. "Now…you should sleep. We both should. We'll see the city tomorrow…"

"Sounds good. 'Night, Sharon," Steve replies. Before long, he's out, still tired from their long trip…

It's about 3 am, maybe a bit later, when there is a rustling in the bed next to Steve. Whimpering, and then a moment of violent thrashing against the sheets. Fortunately, Steve's tough and his chest can take the fist that flails into him as Sharon rocks over, trapped somewhere else, deep in the recesses of her brain. Somewhere hellish.

Steve reaches to grab Sharon's wrists. Despite her flailing, he is quite a bit stronger than she is. "Sharon. Sharon, wake up. You're having a nightmare."

The man is far stronger than she is, so there isn't an issue grabbing her wrists, but Sharon isn't quite waking up yet. In fact, the fact that someone seems to be over powering her just makes it worse. A pained, terrified grunt escapes her breath as she tries to get leverage on him, speaking in violently fast Vietnamese, not even English…

Steve does his best to raise her arms over her head and pin her arms down with one hand while trying to shake her awake with the other. "Sharon! Sharon!"

It's a little too long to just be a nightmare, a little too violent. Something in her is back there. Something she'd never talk about while awake. But after another minute or so, his shaking finally seems to do it's job and her half violent struggling against him abruptly ceases as her eyes jerk open, staring into the darkness. She's like some terrified animal against him, heart beating triple time, body ever so finely shaking as shallow breath pants from her lips. "…Where…"

"Are you alright?" Steve asks as he loosens her hold on her wrists. "Looked like some kind of intense nightmare." He looks at her, worried.'

It takes another few moments for her to even realize where she is. Who she is with. Awake, but stil half in another world. She starts speaking for a moment, but it's in Vietnamese again, the code switching in her brain still taking a few moments to catch up. Sharon shakes her head a bit, then, searching for English words. It takes several ragged heartbeats, but she gets there. "…Fine. Sorry. I… I'm sorry."

Steve shakes his head, "No, don't worry. Don't be sorry." He continues to look at her with a pained look on her face. His immediate thought is that she's been shellshocked. He's seen it before. "Can I get you something? Water or something?"

The blonde is quiet for another moment or two and, for as strong as she tries to be, she takes the moment to just sink against him. Her head forward, tucking in against his throat, almost curling up there. Sharon takes a deeper breath, focusing on the faint sound of his heart, his breath, letting it center her…"No. Just… let me… lay her a minute or two. Then… I'll let you get back to sleep." She whispers.

"Yeah, sure," Steve says as he holds her against him. Whatever has caused these dreams seems to be pretty intense. He opens his mouth to say something, but then thinks better of it.

Even just coming out of one of those fugues, things that don't happen a lot, but do happen… Sharon is observant. SHe feels his mouth open and tilts her head slightly. "…What?" She asks softly, still not moving away, not one inch from his arms. He was solid, and warm…And real.

"I was just going to say that if you thought that maybe it might help to talk to someone, there are a lot of people out there who know about what you might have gone through, or at least about how best to get through it." Steve rubs her arm lightly. "No shame in admitting you need some help from time to time."

"It…doesn't happen a lot. Sorry… you had to see that." Sharon whispers quietly, but she doesn't deny his words. She just doesn't agree either. Better to side step the issue and finish getting control of herself. Maybe they'd forget all of this in the morning. She sighs, forehead sinking against his throat. Thirty more seconds and she'd force herself to pull away…

"Don't apologize," Steve replies. But he leaves it at that as he stares at the ceiling. He's given her his opinion on the matter, and decides to leave it at that.

Another deep breath of his scent and then, slowly, Sharon forces herself to uncurl from him. She sits up on the edge of the bed, still just in her sports bra and shorts. Somehow, she doesn't look quite so fierce after that incident. It will fade. In the dim light, he may or may not notice the scars on her back. But they are ever present. "I…am going to shower, I think. I'll crash out on the couch if I can. Go back to sleep."

"Are you sure? You don't have to. And if you'd prefer to sleep alone, I'd really rather you take the bed instead," Steve admits as he props his head up with his hand. "You sure you're alright?"

"No, I just don't want to wake you again." Sharon admits quietly, ashe comments on her taking the bed. She stretches out a bit and then steps around the bed towards the shower. His last question makes her pause on the carpet, bare feet hovering there a moment, considering just how to answer. She could keep lying, or she could be honest with the one person who's bothered to really get to know her since she returned. Finally, she just whispers a quiet, "… No." At least she was honest. Then she keeps moving for the shower.

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