1964-07-13 - The Soldier, the Spy and the Susie
Summary: Bucky drops into the Avengers mansion to try and visit his old friend in the most unexpected of ways. Instead, he ends up running into an old nemesis.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
susie bucky sharon 

He shouldn't be here. It's foolish to get within such a short range of all these heroes, sanctioned or no, when his own status is still so gray and nebulous. Steve's cleared him from the bombings at the fair…..but he's still the guy who tried to (and really did) kill Captain America. On the other hand….this is where Steve lives. And the only place Buck knows where to find him. So he's cleaned up as best he can, in dress shirt and good jeans, hair gathered up neatly at his nape…standing nervously on the front steps, the skin between his shoulder blades all but crawling with unease.

Who knows where the team is out to. Probably half of them actually saving the world from some minor emergency, Carol working, Steve picking up new tiling for around the back pool, and Sharon is, just by chance, the only one home today. She's just out of the shower, after two hours in the gym downstairs working herself ragged and nearly ripping through another set of gloves. She really has to stop abusing the punching bag like that. She comes down the stairs, freshly dressed in a pair of daisy dukes that shows off her long, toned legs and a loose cream slip of a tank top. It was too damn hot for anything else. Her sandy blonde hair is down in damp, freshly showered waves around her face and she almost looks innocent. Sweet. Almost like the girl next door she's pretended to be for so many missions. SHe blinks at the knock, jogging towards the door, "Coming!" She calls, pulling it open a few seconds later with a confused blink, "Uh… hullo?"

She can explain at least a good fraction of that gobsmacked expression by her own sheer looks. Whatever he was expecting to be confronted with, it wasn't a blonde girl-next-door vision. So there's a moment of almost goggling shock on his features. This is Steve's girl? More proof that Steve Rogers is a far luckier bastard than he has any right to be.

But Winter's still in there, Bucky's own Dark Passenger, even if he doesn't get to drive anymore….and he remembers Sharon very differently. Very differently indeed. «CIA!» is his thought….and the initial urge to go for the very little, very illegal pistol that's strapped to Bucky's calf manifests in a full-body spasm of panic, as JAmes himself clamps down on that murderous impulse. "Uh," he says, and it's more a grunt of surprise than anything else. "Steve! I was looking for Steve," he settles on.

Even her voice has that strange, laid back girl-next-door tendancy to it with just an edge of huskiness to say that maybe she's more of a woman than she looks at first. A slightly confused smile dances across her pink mouth, looking him up and down, trying to figure out where she knows that voice from. But she knows a lot of voices. Her pale eyes narrow on him a heartbeat or two, "He just ran out to pick up some tiling, but if you want to come in, I was about to grab some… well… whatever meal is appropriate for this time of whatever." She jests lightly, stepping back from the door with those long legs, feet bare. She's all lithe limb and muscle. If she's Steve's girl, he's not done badly for himself. She doesn't, however, turn her back to him. Old habits.

Susie, in her Ultragirl outfit, comes flying along, aiming for a landing on the mansion's roof. This is when she spots people out front… and stops to hover overhead, watching. She's not taking any extra special care to avoid being seen, but she's not making any noise, really.
Ultragirl's a new member of the Avengers — more a member in training, really. As such, she doesn't live at the mansion itself, but comes by fairly often (mostly for training sessions with Captain Marvel herself)… and these two are new faces to her.

Winter's in there yelling at Bucky to move his lazy American ass, get out, get away, with all the frustration of a drill sergeant confronted with a gaggle of idiot recruits. Bucky finally peels out of the shock enough to swallow and offer his smile. Not quite up to his usual wattage, but….hey, it used to break hearts, once upon a time. "Sure, that'd be…."

And then there's a shadow moving overhead, and he flinches as if looking for cover, before looking up, bewildered. Susie doesn't look like she's after a fight, so he lifts a gloved left hand, waves it tentatively.

Sharon, prone to paranoia and needing all information at ALL points in time, has been told about the new recruit. She hasn't met Ultragirl yet, but she knows the uniform and so isn't in immediate worried reaction mode yet. Still, something has her hackles up. Shoulders just a bit tighter beneath those thin spaghetti straps of her tank top and jaw set just a little more tense. "And…do you have a name? Mr. Looking for Steve…" Then something clicks in her head. The pictures from when they went to Australia. Her eyes shoot wide. "Bucky. Your Bucky. He found you." She breathes out in complete relief and an odd bit of laughing happiness. If there was any doubt that Sharon *cares* for Steve, it'd disappear in that moment in the actual joy she has at seeing Bucky.

"Oh…That's Ultragirl. Don't worry about her. She's training… new member of the team. Come on. I'm Sharon." She offers her hand for a good shake, but she still doesn't dare turn her back to him. Some secret, tiny voice in the back of her head is trying to scream and she just doesn't know why.

Ultragirl raises a hand to return Bucky's wave, then drops to land in a crouch near the front steps. As she rises, she nods. "Yeah, I'm Ultragirl", she confirms. When the name 'Steve' was mentioned, she was too high up to hear it, so it doesn't get mentioned. She does glance at Sharon, then look over at Bucky again. She -does- kinda give him a slow once-over with her eyes, too.

The smile goes shy, pleased. "Yeah," he says, quietly, "I'm Bucky." Thank God he hadn't tried to lie. "He knows….he knows I'm in town. I hadn't talked to him in a while so…." He's nodding, all but bobbing his head. This could be okay. Sharon's hand gets a gentle shake, of course, the metal hand still at his side. Then Ultragirl comes down and he asks, brows rising, "Doesn't it mess up your knees, when you land like that? I mean, I usedta jump out of planes and my knees are still letting me hear about it years later, so…." He's almost babbling.

Pale blue eyes narrow a bit more on Bucky. Something about the timbre of his voice. Not the accent, but the tone. She half smirks at the handshake, "…Bucky. Good to finally meet you. I'm going to beat the shit out of Steve for not telling me he knew you were in town, after I hiked my ass the whole way to Australia with him looking for you." But it's a good natured grumbling. "I'm Sharon. Sharon Carter." Like Peggy? Maybe. She had the woman's nose and jaw, but was far more blonde all-American otherwise. SHe finally drops the hand and begins to semi-lead, but at his side, back towards the kitchen.

"Come on, Ultragirl. They…didn't tell me your real name. Trying to protect IDs and all, I suppose. I can respect that. I'll get us all some real food and I think there's still beer." The only hint that something might be wrong is the fact that Sharon won't step in front of Bucky. She stays just slightly behind him, on guard, just her nod and motion pointing out the direction of the kitchen.

Susie, aka Ultragirl, hurries up to the door to pull it open. "I'm really strong and really tough, sir", she says to Bucky. "Landing like that… was actually pretty soft, compared to how I've seen it done…"

Sir. She called him sir. It's almost cute. So Susie gets that grin, too. "I shoulda figured," he says, cheerfully apologetic. To Sharon, he shrugs. "Kind of a long story. Sorry about the inconvenience," he adds. The walk…..the walk's familiar, too. There's something about it, that uneven, deliberate swagger, like he's heavier, slower than he should be. Buck's not a big guy, especially not compared to post-serum Steve. "So, uh, you any relation to Peggy Carter?"

That question about her Aunt makes Sharon wince just a little. THe wince of someone who has been living in a shadow her whole life. She forces a smile to her lips which isn't quite in her eyes. "Yeah, she's my Aunt. I know she's everyone's hero." Sharon dead pans quietly, but then she keeps walking on. "After you…" She murmurs to both of them as they reach the mostly rennovated kitchen, determined to go in last. "Hungry, Ultragirl who hasn't given real name yet?" Sharon asks, but as she watches Bucky walk into the kitchen, weirdly heavier and deliberate, something flickers in her mind. For just a moment, Sharon Carter isn't present…

"You had it right, ma'am", Ultragirl says to Sharon. "It's the whole secret ID thing, is all." She, again, holds the door open for the others as the trio troupes into the kitchen, then sorta flying-hops over the island in the middle to get to the massive fridge, pulling the door open to reach in for a bottle of coke.

"I'll have a coke, too," says Bucky, hopefully. He catches that flat note in Sharon's voice. "Sorry," he says, and there's wryness there. "Peggy Carter…..living legend who kinna lives up *to* the legend." Then he's looking around, pleased. "Nice place."

Sharon's responses, to both of them, just aren't there a moment. She's somewhere else. It's freezing. She's laying stomach first in ice and snow but cannot dare move or he'll make her. The Winter Soldier. Why was she there again? Sharon blinks, trying to shake herself free of it, even if she's frozen like some dead marionette in the arch of the kitchen's entrance. Then, her blue eyes slip back to the room, a but fuzzy for a heartbeat or two as she blinks them over, "Sorry. I… what did you say?" She asks both of them with a half embarrassed smile, "I…thought maybe I heard Steve coming home." She lies with the best of them, smooth as silk.

Ultragirl pulls out a bottle of coke with her other hand and uses her thumbs to pop the tops off the bottles, offering them across the island to the other two. She isn't even wearing gloves. "You want a coke, too?", she offers to Sharon, even as she's offering over the open bottle.

Like something out of a nightmare - that unseen presence she knew was there, ready to strike the moment she might give herself away. Somehow inhabiting that body before her now, Steve's faithful sidekick. Buck all but pricks his ears like a dog….then shakes his head. "Nah," he says, disappointed. Then he turns to Ultra and accepts the coke with evident gratitude. "Thanks," he says, lifting the bottle to her in salute…..careful not to slosh.

"Beer. I'm on vacation. Technically." Sharon deadpans, the CIA only having called her back twice since she was recalled from Vietnam. She stalks over to the fridge, instinctively careful never to turn her back to Bucky, which might make it look like she's doing some weird dance but Sharon is surprisingly good at being subtle about it. She reaches in and pulls out the halfway decent pilsner she bought for the house a week back.

Then she's looking back to Bucky, her eyes narrowing. She gazes him up and down for a heartbeat or two, none of that girl next door warmth left in her face. She looks cold. Dangerous. Very much like the killer she is, if for just a moment. "…is there something wrong with your hand?" She asks, slow, quiet, quite frankly.

Susie puts down the opened bottle of coke not taken from her and turns back to the fridge, to pull out a bottle of beer… which she opens the same way as she did the coke bottles, offering it over as she closes the fridge. Once it's taken, she gathers up the bottletops and puts them into the trash before picking up her Coke for a drink. "Y'all got some wierd body language going on", she comments.

Made. She's made him. And for a moment, the look he gives her in return is that wolf's stare, before it fades into a quizzical look, brows rising, that little indent appearing over his nose. "Yeah," he says, simply. "It got ruined during the war. This arm is a prosthesis - that's why the glove." As if he were any other veteran amputee, laboring along with a steel and fiberglass substitute.

|ROLL| Sharon +rolls 1d100 for: 21

Amputee. The lost arm. Metal on snow. Sharon's ice eyes go a bit too wide for a moment, no doubt in her head about who is in front of her now. How had she not lined them up before? "…Winter Soldier…" She breathes out, some dark promise behind those words, some memory that isn't anywhere near this kitchen. And then it's just too much. The beer in her hand is slammed against the wall, shattering so she has an exceptionally sharp homemade weapon. She's here, but she's not, and she's moving at the fastest speeds of human ability as she jerks across the room in Bucky's direction. They would fight again. She was better this time. Maybe she'd make it this time. But she doesn't make it. Her thrashing, lost in flashback form is caught in Susie's arms and while Sharon is DAMN good, she doesn't have super strength.

There's a blur of motion. When it's gone, Ultragirl's Coke bottle is sitting on the island and Ultragirl's simply holding Sharon back as if it takes almost no effort on her part. The girl wasn't kidding about being strong. She's also -fast-, apparently! "Calm down!", she says, firmly to Sharon. "Snap out of it of I'll hafta take you somewhere else and let you cool down -there-, and then tell the Captains about this!" At one point, she even grabs the broken bottle in her bare hand… and just grabs down on it and holds it in her hand — a hand, that if she weren't as 'invulnerable' as she, would cut her right open. Instead, the bottle just kinda crumples against her skin.

Might be shock. Might be conflict between Winter and James….but he was a second too slow to prevent her landing a good solid one on him with that improvised glass blade. Happily, he took it on the prosthesis, hastily flung up in guard. RAther than the kind of defensive wound that ends up bloody, she's ruined his shirt….and there's a gleaming expanse of metal plates exposed on what should be forearms and bicep, supple as a snake's scales. "No, Sharon," he says, desperately. "I'm not him."

|ROLL| Sharon +rolls 1d100 for: 35

While Sharon isn't super human, she's a bundle to handle. She's using every trick in a VERY trained book and if Ultragirl didn't have super strength, she'd have put her in the ground already. But the girl's joints don't bend and break like other people's do and Sharon will never win a straight up brawl with a super hero. But she's trying. She's not here right now, that much is clear, pupils blown and a cold sweat across her face, "You killed Conners. Beckstrom. Morey. Jonas. You killed SO MANY. MY MEN… That's you… I know you." And then it's just getting worse. Trembling against those captive arms, Sharon slips into another language, perfect, ice cold Russian. ~No, I won't tell you a damn thing. You'll have to kill me too… ~

Ultragirl would, indeed, have been put on the ground or hurt badly, even after she didn't react quickly enough, even with her superspeed, to keep the bottle from tearing open Bucky's shirt. She's just not got the sort of training that'd be needed to handle the kind of moves Sharon's using at her… so she's relying on her own strength and toughness, which are thankfully more than a match for most anything a normal human woman can throw at her. "Uhm… I think I'm gonna take her up to the pool on the roof. If she calms down, we'll be back…?", she says over her shoulder to Bucky, even as she simply wraps her arms around Sharon and starts to physically haul the woman to the nearest exit, intending to fly her up to the roof.

"No, Sharon, no. That was him, the Winter Soldier. The Soviets created him, using my body. I wasn't in control," He's pleading with her as if she were the physical representation of that sick, guilty conscience. "I'm not here to hurt you, or Steve. Not anyone…." His voice breaks on that last syllable, and he's staring at Sharon, hopelessly. Then Ultragirl's words register and he nods, still bleak. "I'll go," he says, softly. "I'll only make her more upset." And he's rising, suiting the action to the word.

Maybe it's something in the pleading of his voice, the comment about Steve, or the strength of feeling being lifted off of her feet and up, but abruptly Sharon stops fighting against the imprisoning arms around her. She pulls herself back into reality, this time, now, though her heart is galloping against Susie's forearm as if she's run a marathon and her eyes are still a bit too wide, but she's not fighting. She shakes her head weakly, breathing hard, trying to reassess what is around her. "…N-no…no…it's fine. I'm fine… Put me down, I'm fine. Shit…" Her voice cracks slightly, embarrassed, ragged, "Shit…I'm sorry…" That is as much to Bucky as it is Susie, whatever hate she was feeling having quickly melted away. "…I… didn't realize… Shit."

Ultragirl stops and actually holds Sharon out at arm's length, her hands around the woman's waist… and gently sets her down after a moment. "Just… calm down, okay? That was kinda scary…", she says. She then turns to Bucky and says, "You don't hafta go… unless you really want to that is. I think there's some clothes in boxes, somewhere, if you want me to get you a new shirt, so your metal arm's not all hanging out for everyone to see?"

"Not many people know," Bucky says, helplessly. He's the one who's afraid now, it's clear….and as much of Ultragirl as of Sharon. He's not superhuman, and if they both come for him….he'll end up cuffed to a piece of piping. "I'm not a traitor. They found my dead body in the Channel waters and revived me. I didn't remember anything….so they experimented on me. The result was Winter."

As she's held at arms' length, Sharon pants out a few more breaths, but it seems she's not going back there. Not right now. She shakes her head again to Susie, "…sorry. That… doesn't happen much. Sorry. I'm fine." She states, stiff and stubborn, trying to put on the strongest face possible. She takes in another deep breath and looks back to Bucky, a strange mix of worry and wariness in her eyes. "…I remember. Steve showed me your file. We… we literally flew to Australia trying to catch up with you. I just… I don't know why I didn't realize… Maybe I didn't want to realize. It… it was you. Or… what they made you. Why I had to leave Russia. But… you didn't kill me…" Sharon was damn good, even back then. She may have gotten herself out. Or maybe he showed a crack of mercy, the memory of a name locked in the back of his head. Carter.

Ultragirl, even with her harlequin mask on her face, looks… perplexed. She clearly hasn't a clue about all this 'Winter' business that they're talking about. "If you're cool, now", she says to Sharon, "… I'll go get him a new shirt…?", she offers, reaching for her previously abandoned bottle of Coke.

"Please," Bucky says to Ultragirl, turning that pleading blue gaze on her. STill got the puppy dog eyes. Then he adds, a little more teasingly, "Steal something from Steve." So Bucky can cuddle it while he sleeps, surely. "I remember," he says to Sharon, slowly. "Pursuing you. But I didn't get you. You were one of my few failures." And the punishment that followed was bitter, indeed.

"THank you, Ultragirl. I…I owe you. Beer. Do you drink? Dinner… Dinner. A nice dinner." Sharon flashes the young hero a slightly shaky smile, but then she looks back to Bucky for another few heartbeats. "I'm…good at surviving. I guess we both are." She gives him that uncertain look, but whatever her brain was locked in is gone now. She's almost ashamed, pretending it didn't happen. She's a woman who's seen a lot of ghosts in her life. She quietly picks her way back over to where she shattered the beer bottle, crouching down so she can start picking up the broken pieces.

Ultragirl gets another puzzled look on her face. "Uhm… who's Steve?", she asks, directing her question to Sharon. Apparently, she hasn't been briefed on everyone's 'secret' names, yet, herself!

Bucky glances back to Ultragirl. "Captain Rogers. We're old friends," he clarifies. Steve's gotta have at least thirty pounds of muscle on him - he's going to be dwarfed by that shirt. Then he's nodding at Sharon, mutely. He's not so good. That's a lot of deaths behind him.

"Yeah. He's…got the right of it. Captain America. Steve. He's… a good man. One of the best." Oh, there's that slight crack behind her voice. A tone Bucky would probably find familiar. While Sharon and Steve aren't together, the steely eyed CIA agent has it HARD for his best friend. Fortunately, she's looking down at glass and not meeting Bucky's eyes to totally give herself away.

Once she's got most of the glass up, she moves over to toss it in the bin and exhales slowly, looking him up and down for several heartbeats now. "…the shit they did to your head… You shake it all free yet?" She asks flatly, respectful but worried. She talks like a soldier.

Ultragirl's eyes widen a bit, then she nods. "I'll go get that shirt", she says, heading out with her bottle of soda in hand.

"Most of it," he says, quietly. "I'm in control now. And by 'I', I mean James Buchanan Barnes. It's not *all* gone, but I genuinely don't believe I'm a danger to anyone, now." A beat and then he adds, compelled to honesty, "….not without meaning to be."

"I get it. That… that's good. Real good." Sharon looks up, taking a moment to give him a genuine smile, even if there is a faint brush of wariness behind her eyes. That wariness is always there. He might get the sense she's a woman that lives her whole life slightly looking over her shoulder. She leans into the fridge to pull out another beer, this one opened with slightly shaking hands, but she manages. Adrenaline crashes are a bitch. "The Russians are… pretty damn awful. I'm glad they got you back."

"You know what, I could use a beer, too," he says, bluntly. "Yeah, you got no idea. And they're probably still looking for me." He sits back down at the table. "I'm sorry for the old days, by the way. I didn't have control, but those fuckers let me remember all of the stuff I did."

"There we go. Even straight laced, blushes every time I swear Steve likes beer." Sharon's smile comes just a bit easier and she pulls out a second pilsner for him, grabbing the church key to get the top off and handing it over. None of this stuffy nonsense about glasses bullshit, they can drink straight out of the bottle. She takes one more centering, slowing breath and straddles mostly bare, long legs around a chair, leaning against its back. "Well, they come looking? We put them in the ground. Again, and again…and again. I've killed enough reds in my time. A few dozen more won't matter."

"Steve has never gotten over being permitted to make Eagle Scout despite his awful childhood health," Bucky says, drily. "I'm serious." Then he accepts the bottle, finishes almost half of it in one long pull, head back, throat working….then puts it down and sighs contentedly.

The contented sigh from him gets a different look from her. A thought crossing her mind she didn't expect in the least but, for a heartbeat or two, her eyes flicker across his body. He was as good looking as he was in those old, carefree, lady killer photos. Sharon suddenly clears her throat a touch, trying to look away. Her cheeks might be a bit pinker as she takes a deeper gulp of her own beer. "I'm…sure he had other…qualifications. He's a good man…" For once, her mind isn't quite on Steve.

HAppily, he was in the process of doing somewhat-obscene things to that cold bottle of ale, and didn't see. Bucky unafraid and at ease is far more an echo of that old heartbreaker than Winter, happily. "Oh, he's a great guy," Bucky concedes, without a hint of argument. "All heart….and I'd like to say 'no brains', but really, I can't. He's smart as well as good. Total package." And he tips the neck of the bottle to her, smiles tightlipped and impish….as if warning her not to miss her chance to ride that particular ride.

That impish smile is enough to awake a bit of hunger behind her eyes. Sharon looks him over, considering him half like a soldier and half like a woman, a rare look from any lady these days, but that's pretty much how she operates. She takes a smaller sip of her beer, giving just a little, tired laugh, "Yeah. He's smart, and… just… Great… all around. I think I scare him, though. Or I'm too… I dunno. Messed up for him. The shit you do for the CIA… working alone in Russia, Vietnam…" Sharon shrugs quietly, "It scares him. He hates thinking about it."

He folds his lips at that. "I….don't think it's that. Steve and I, we saw a lot of rough stuff in Europe. And I wasn't like the old propaganda films showed. The Russians didn't have to train me to be an assassin. We were still friends, even though I was doing the things he couldn't."

"Maybe not scared. A bad word for it. He… " Sharon shakes her head, waving it off quietly. "Doesn't matter. He deserves some perfect little home maker to come home to most evenings. But shit, I… thought they were exaggerating in your file. About you being a lady killer. I… guess not." Sharon's is about as awkward at this flirting thing as a baseball bat. She can do it for pretend, do it for a case or job… But in real life? This feels foreign. So, she drowns her words in beer.

He misparses that for a moment, and pales a little. He's killed quite a few women. And then it sinks in, and his smile's a little crooked. "Well, I was twenty years old, in uniform, and I thought I was god's gift to the women of New York."

"…And were you?" Sharon asks, the question both an inquiry and a dare. She's not drinking her beer any more, but pale eyes stare straight across at him, more tempted by the second. It'd be better than sitting in this summer-hot kitchen, trying to pretend she didn't attempt to kill the man ten minutes ago.

That makes him blink. This has wandered into dangerous conversational ground. "Ahhh," he temporizes. "Well. Ehhh. EVery guy's a legend in his own mind. And ….a lot of guys were already overseas. The ratio was very favorable….so I had some good times before I shipped out."

"Mm. Understood. Well, can't win them all. Not every man's a legend." That's the rough and tumble teasing that often comes on a battlefield, as Sharon unfolds herself from the chair to pad barefoot and long legged over to the sink so she can clean and toss out her beer bottle. "I…don't know when Steve will be back, but you're welcome to hang around. The gym downstairs is nice…"

Bucky spreads his hands, shrugs, to agree with her on that assessment. He's got an expressive face, when it's not wearing the assassin's deadpan. "The pool sounds more appealing, but…..I think I'd better meet the other room-mates before I can make that assumption," he notes, rising. "Thanks. Good to meet you again, under better circumstances."

She pauses, turning back around to him, "It's… it's been good meeting you. Really. I'm glad you're here. And I know Steve is probably over the moon. He'll be home soon…" Sharon gives him a reassuring smile and an offer of her hand to shake. The shake is more warm this time, having gotten far better control of herself now that she knows why her alarm bells were ringing. There is still a pause from her, a look of *something* in her eye, but she pulls away and steps back. "I'll…go see where that shirt went for you." Then she's disappearing down the hall.

This was very confusing, and it shows plainly in his face. But he returns the shake. IF all confrontations with his past go this easily…. "Thanks," he says, easily.

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