1964-08-02 - Visiting the Jail Bird
Summary: Sharon Carter brings Bucky Barnes a few things to make his stay as a prisoner of SHIELD more tenable. Some awkward flirting ensues as both of them try to remember how to be people.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
sharon bucky 

The rumors seem to be true. For there's Bucky, neither caged nor changed, eating in the cafeteria, under the watchful eye of a whole slew of SHIELD agents. Oh, only one of them's his offcial escort, a cynical veteran not in the least awed by having point guard duty on the Winter Soldier. But it's so very clear that all the rest of them have one eye on him, and another on their meal.

Buck himself is munching phlegmatically through what looks like a grilled cheese sandwich, having finished a cup of soup. No tray for him, or solid plate - paper and cardboard and plastic flatware. Lest he stab someone to death with a fork. It can be done - don't ask him about that mission in Paraguay. Not one for idle conversation, it seems.

It's been a long time since Sharon Carter stepped foot in the hallways of SHIELD. From, pretty much, when she started her career. But she still helped found this place ten years ago, still kept the Carter name, and had a few strings she could pull. Never the less, the few old hats in the room go dead silent as the blonde walks into the place. "…Carter." Drawls out Ramierez, not sounding particularly thrilled. Across the room someone coughs but it suspiciously sounds like *Sellout!*… but surely it was just a cough.

Sharon huffs a little, carrying a paper bag of something that smells heavenly and a pack of luckies. She's in her civilian clothing, a pair of long jeans, black tank top, black leather jacket. Nothing special, meant to blend into the crowd. She heads right up to Bucky's side, "…and here I thought I was going to have to smuggle you in food. Didn't realize you were getting the star treatment here. Still… dunno that their cafeteria serves Coney Island hotdogs." She plops the bag before him. THAT's what that smell is.

He doesn't reach for it. One of the other agents does. Checking through it without being ostentatious about it - one doesn't generally hide the file in the frankfurter, after all. But….they gotta be sure. Bucky's gone from apparently docile to a screaming maniac before in seconds flat. Not to mention that Buck owes Sharon so very much in terms of blood spilled - a whole team lost, even if it was for that other gency. One never knows. He waits patiently enough for them to verify there is nothing awful in it, before he takes it. "Thanks," he says to Sharon, and he offers that ghostly little smile. "No, they're feeding me. But you're right, nothing like it."

His minder's opened the cigarettes and is examining them minutely, as well. "So, what're you trying to bribe me for?" Bucky teases her, softly. "Got someone you need taken out? I'll tell you, it's gotta be a whole carton of Luckies - I don't work cheap." Which comment gets a retort, from someone else there, "Thought you worked for free, Winter," Buck doesn't rise to the bait, beyond an easy, "…..that's true. Russians never did give me a paycheck. Come to think of, might be the Army owes me eighteen years of back pay."

"Ain't that the way Russians work, boys? Everyone works for the state, no one gets paid. That's why we're still trying to kill all the fuckers." Sharon calls across Bucky's head, to the guy that made the comment about working for free. If there is one thing the CIA and SHIELD can bond about, it's still hating communists. Sharon gives a side eye to the man searching the hot dogs, but doesn't complain. She understands Bucky is doing his best to be a respectful prisoner.

Instead, she just folds down onto the bench across from him, all lanky arms and legs, looking far more comfortable in her skin now than she did in that blue dress. "And no, I'm not bribing you to take anyone out. I do my wet work myself, thank you very much." Sharon states with a deeper smirk. She's not exactly proud of it, but she's not lying either. "I just… I wanted to check on you. I…was thinking about you. Is all." That, weirdly, doesn't come across as a lie.

He's trying very hard indeed. His body language is relaxed, deliberate to the point of slowness. Telegraphing movements so no one tenses up. He's had enough from SHIELD agents - one of them killed him, after all. Sharon's comment about wetwork raises his brows, and then he makes a moue of understanding. "Fair enough," he concedes, between neat bites of the hot dog. He may have just finished lunch…..maybe it's the arm, or maybe the superserum makes his metabolism run fast..but he's still eating with enthusiasm. Her admission earns her some bemused looks from the other agents.

He's got a paper cup of water by him, and he has a swallow of that, before replying. Thinking about him. That's ….kind of odd. Peggy and Steve, there's the history of the war. People who knew James before Winter was born, so to speak. Sharon…a long, murderous, bloody chase with the assassin like a hungry ghost behind her. Persistent and inexorable and barely human. Not like the guy sitting before her. Bucky spreads his hands, carefully, as if to say 'Here I am'. "Well," he says, slowly. "I'm doing better than before. Maximoff's verified me as being me, not just a mask for the Soldier. I feel like myself. They're not keeping me in a cell, though they do lock the door after lights out." Which doesn't seem to bother him. "Might be I actually cut a deal, this time."

A blue eyed glare is given to a few of the other officers, especially as they dare to look bemused at the interaction between the two. She still has a look that can shut up the young ones. Two other older officers mutter, as they pass by, "Carters. Always trouble." It really seems that Sharon has no good name around here. She completely ignores that, focusing back on Bucky once more in quiet consideration.

"…Well, that's good. Aunt Peggy always was a soft touch, especially when it comes to old friends. I bet she'll be able to arrange something. Even better that the witch cleared your mind. But… I sorta figured you could be stronger than the Russians. They're good at what they do, and smart, but.. Not perfect. The ways they try to break people…" Sharon shrugs quietly, "Only works on the people who want to be broken. People that grew up in that shit hole of a country and don't know any better. You KNOW better than that. Fuck, clearly, you ARE Better than that. So… good."

That sotto voce comment, though it's clearly not intended for James, has him turning in his seat. There's a brighter version of the grin. "Buddy," he says, with a hint of what might be laughter, "You don't know the half of it. Though you get me a can of beer, maybe I'll tell you some stories about Peggy back when," That warmth is still in his face, as he turns back to her.

But as Sharon replies, the smile dies away into something sadder. It's meant as a compliment, and what it conjures up instead is something like alarm. Bucky shakes his head. "No," he says, more quietly, "No. You got it all wrong," he tells her. It's not a whisper, he's not trying to conceal the conversation from the listeners-in. "They broke me, more than once. They got me out of the water, I was nothing. I was dead. And when they revived me, I was a blank. It's not like I was a prisoner in solitary, I didn't have a mind or a name. That's how they kept me. The memories I have - I can remember faces, details, and now some names, enough to put some stuff together. But not….I wasn't willingly a traitor." His voice is hoarse, pleading for her to believe, if no one else here does. "I can't claim to have rebelled. I did what I was told to do."

The woman listens to him quietly, now almost ocmpletely ignoring the SHIELD agents around them. She didn't come here for them, she came here for Bucky. So, patient and respectful, the quiet blonde listens and lets him get his denials and his story out. If he allows, and there is a hand free she can find, her fingertips actually slip across the cafeteria table and rest over the back of his palm. She's not a woman who does touch all that often, but when she does there is a weight to it. A meaning. "Barnes. Hell…if anything, that just shows your fucking stronger. You… you didn't know what you were. Who you were. ANd, somehow, you've managed to claw it back. The fact you are sitting here after all that?… Shit. It shouldn't be possible. But you are."

"That's more because one of them fucked up….or someone's playing a longer and more deliberate game with me and SHIELD. I think I'm me again. I feel like me. Maximoff agrees. I don't know, though," Why not confess his doubts - he's got no confidence to let him bluster through. But he ventures a smile again. That touch makes him glance down at it, but he pats her back. The hand of flesh - though for once the metal one's ungloved. No need to hide it here. "But….this is better, no matter what. SHIELD dealt with me before," though he doesn't add that it was in the form of the Little Red Widow That Could and an accurately placed headshot. And yet he's sitting here, alive and well, and that's enough to give many a SHIELD agent the jibblies. Bucky Barnes does not stay dead. "They can again."

"Hopefully they don't have to. Other than getting you cleared and getting some sort of deal made…" Sharon looks down to his hand patting her's, for just a moment, in the way of a woman that doesn't entirely understand it. Yes, she wants touch, some weird sort of affection, but when it's there she simply doesn't know what to DO with it any more. It's been too long since she had this sort of human interaction. She's not brainwashed and wasn't locked away the way he was, wasn't forced into being a tool for some government. No, she signed up all by herself to do those things and still does. The basic human decencies sometimes escape her, even as she grasps for them. Awkwardly, she tries to give his hand a bit of a squeeze. It's a try.

"Besides…if you are stuck in here forever, how am I going to get to take you out actually dancing? Somewhere you don't work, so we don't give the wrong impression. I can be your dirty little secret in the closet…" Sharon offers with a teasing sort of smile, even if her words are strange. Is this her version of flirting? Probably.

Those would be my room-mates, Sharon. Loki and Kai….well. Buck doesn't seem to know what to do with it, either. He holds hands with her with a kind of childish acceptance. Was he fidgeting? "Take me out dancing?" he parrots back at her, brows knitting. "…..I….uh." It's like someone switched his brain with Steve's.

"I mean…you do dance, right? One foot in front of the other? I heard you used to be quite the lady killer… in the less than literal sense, for once. I figured I got a taste of the literal side, might as well try the enjoyable one…" Sharon offers, even as he's stammering, she's diving into figuring out how spies flirt. It was not near so easy when she meant it as when she was just trying to straight up seduce someone. She gives his hand one more bit of a squeeze, an encouragement, an affirmation, before gently dropping his fingertips, but keeping her palm near on the table. Already, the rumor mill at SHIELD was probably going to be a mess about this.

They are doing that with an audience. Bucky looks frankly stunned, for a moment. There's really no playing this cool. "I….used to," he says, slowly. "I liked to." He remembers that. "Maybe someday?" A distinct lack of conviction in his voice. This'll be one of those 'somedays' that never comes. But it's nice to think on. Just ask Aunt Peggy about how reliable this particular set of jackasses is about showing up to claim a dance.

A wry, somewhat bitter smirk pulls across her thin mouth at his words. "I know what someday means, and it ain't someday. But… Yeah. Just focus on getting through this. I'll keep smuggling you coney island dogs when I can, better than the bland gruel they give you in this place. I'd have thought they'd have gotten a better cook over the last ten years, but it smells like Marcel is still back there. He can't cook for shit." Sharon dead pans, trying to play off any sort of sting that his not quite agreement holds. She's not a woman that cares about things, right? Better to make jokes and go back to other memories than continue that awkward dance.

"I don't like making promises I don't know that I can keep," Bucky's voice is light, almost easy. "So I'll say 'maybe'. And thanks again for the hot dog and the cigarettes. You even know my brand. Maybe they'll even let me smoke one, if I'm real good." He slants an eye at his handler, who gives nothing away.

"Oh, they better. I haven't lit up myself 'cause people are eating. But you finish that hot dog and we'll find a hallway somewhere to be like the kids cutting class. And, to be fair… I didn't realize it was your brand. It's just my brand. What is it with killers and Luckies, eh?" That is probably the joke made in the most poor taste yet, but it brings a ghost of a smile to Sharon's lips as she pulls out her own, half crumpled pack from her back pocket. Clearly well loved, and half gone through already. "So…just a good guess. The Coney island thing I may have gotten from your file. I got contacts still."

"YOu talked to Steve," he accuses, but it's more cheerful. "And I dunno. They were what we got during the war, and…..I got hooked," he says. "You know, the Russians never let me smoke. Bad for lungs and endurance, they say." There was never a carrot, just the stick.

"The CIA couldn't fuckin' stop me, usually in the field alone. Though, towards the end there in Vietnam, we weren't getting any shipments in. Hand to buy the chinese shit… now those are cigarettes that'll kill ya. Still worth it." Sharon's nose just wrinkles at the memory of the street cigarettes back there. It almost is enough to make her twitch. "And a lady doesn't reveal a source. I have no clue what you're talking about." She whistles mock innocently.

His lip curls in sympathy, and he toys with the pack of Luckies, turning it over in his hand. "You know, they used to be green. They changed thecolor during the war. They said it was to save green dye for uniforms…..completely untrue. Good press, though."

"Huh… seriously? Fucked. The government is just… fucked…" Sharon mutters, with the sharpness of someone who is really starting to hate whom she works for, but isn't quite acknowledging it yet. It's still enough to get a few harder looks from some of Bucky's other keepers. She sighs and unfolds from the table, "…I should actually probably go, before I get you in trouble. I'm bad news. You can ask any of these bastards… But… I'll come back, if they let me. You… want anything special, if I do?"

"This is….more than enough," Bucky says, quietly. "I'm grateful, Sharon. And don't get yourself in trouble," he adds, after a moment. "But…thanks again. I'd be glad to see you." Bland words, but…there's real fervor behind them.

While neither of them are good at it, and it'll doom them in the rumor mill once and for all, Sharon reaches back down and takes his warm hand once more. She gives it a tight, firm squeeze this time. No dancing around awkwardness. The sort of squeeze that is meant to explain a hundred things she can't — that she cares about him. That he's not alone. That it'll be alright. She holds on tight for a few heartbeats, then just gives him a slight nod. "I'll be back. You… keep being good. Plenty of time to get into all sorts of fun trouble once you're outta here." Sharon gives him one last wink then lets go, turning on the ball of her foot and heading casually out the door.

She has Bucky's eyes fixed on her, as she goes, and not just because the way her jeans fit. That's almost out of nowhere, someone else in his corner. Not for old times' sake. Not because of sheer pity of the immortal for the so briefly mortal, viz Kai and Loki. Just for something she sees in him, or thinks she does. So he makes no attempt to conceal his surprise, as Sharon departs. Nearly all of the agents are watching her go, too, with varying degrees of surprise and unease.

Finally, just as she's drawing out of earshot, one of them pipes up with an utterly stunned, "……she *likes* you, Barnes."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License