1964-08-04 - Sandwiches and Smokes
Summary: Bucky's trying to eat his lunch in peace when Isaiah and Clint decend upon him.
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clint isaiah-bradley bucky 

So, he's not exactly a prisoner. But far too closely watched to be merely a guest. Everyone here knows what he is and what he's done, and more than a few have heard him in the wee hours of the night, yelling in the depths of memory fugue and sedatives.

Most of his minders have been at least polite, but no one's particularly eager to be friendly. So his current guardian is busily involved in administrative paperwork, close but not next to him at one of the canteen's tables. Buck's read all the books they've given him, so he's playing a desultory game of some kind of solitaire with a pack of worn cards. The packet of Luckies Sharon brought him is still in his pocket.

The hotel SHILED is getting cramped these days. Another, larger, darker, much more cheerful guest has been hanging around. Not quite a prisoner but still under guard as well. He has had no problem making friends with pretty much everyone because he's super-nice to people and when a 6'4" super-soldier built like a tank offers to help you out of the kindness of his heart, do you really say no?

Isaiah Bradley has caused quite a stir. Revealing the existence of a secret semi-successful super-soldier program after the one that made Steve. The dark world of politics is all abuzz about it in secret circles. Bradley walks around like he has no idea how much trouble he's causing. He's been helping with the dishes, sweeping, vacuuming, dusting, playing ping-pong, have deep heart felt talks with the agents who are having relationship issues, and generally being a super-nice guy! Don't you just hate that in a prisoner?

Right now he walks into the Canteen with a plate of grilled cheese and onion sandwitches for lunch and sets them down at the table across from Bucky. "Melted cheesy heaven?" he offers the solitary card fondler.

Well, would /you/ want to be the agent who wasn't polite to the ghost that sometimes has his brainmeat hijacked and driven around by a Russian sociopath who can kill you with a clipped fingernail? No. No you don't. So undoubtedly the 'rudest' person that Bucky's had shadowing him was Clint. Clint with his smart fucking mouth.

A folded newspaper smacks the table directly next to Isaiah as the big science experiment and all around nice guy sits down and offers Bucky a sandwhich. Clint Barton still puffing on a stub of a cigarette, mirrored sunglasses perched on top of his head, the man immediately sits down without invitation and takes a deep breath of carcinogen laden smoke, plucking the smoke out of his mouth with his first two fingers, he gestures impatiently to the folded over paper. "Whatever happened to fun racehorse names? Who wants to bet on 'Dale'? Or 'Dee Dee'?" Clint blows out a breath to one side and shakes his head. "Here we go, Rainy Day Blues. Not exactly optimistic, but it has some pizazz…"

Stepping directly into the middle of a conversation and inflicting it on the pair.

He may've already eaten….but then, he's got a supersoldier's metabolism and immune system to maintain. So Buck's hardly going to refuse. "Ah, thanks," he says, as he looks up. He sweeps the spread of cards into a neat pile with one quick motion of his hand, deft as a croupier. Then, Clint's smoking, and Buck taps a Lucky out of the packet, and holds it hopefully out to the archer. They won't let him have a lighter, for obvious reasons - so he'll have to light it off the agent's. "I dunno," he says, with a shrug. "Never did know what the hell a Seabiscuit was."

"Gosh darn it!" the big black super-soldier says suddenly picking up a sandwich half and waving it around as he talks, "I knew I forgot something! I wanted to see the horses before I turned myself in. I should have made a list. I love horses." he says then he looks at Clint. "Gambling is a bad habit, friend. Leads you down a road to trouble. No respectable woman is going to want to marry a man who has a gambling problem. Think about your future." he warns. "What would your mother say if she knew you were throwing away your hard earned money on games?"

Clint eyes the Lucky briefly, and as if they've been friends for years, he takes a short puff to make sure that cherry glows red, then braces his elbow on the table and reaches over to offer it toward Bucky. "It's like hardtack, for seamen." Straightfaced, Clint fills in that questionmark for Bucky.

Stormy blue eyes slide in Isaiah's direction when he uses that exclamation. Gosh. Darn it. Huh. All right then. Wetting his lips, Clint looks back down to the many folded paper. Remarking conversationally, "Well, pal, that's assuming that I'm after the respectable ones, I suppose." The corners of the archer's mouth twitch faintly, good-natured humor. Though, the second question gives him a moment of pause and pondering, sitting up straighter and letting his gaze drift off somewhere over the people's heads, into some starry beyond. "You know…you're right. I can hear her voice, now, like she's sitting right next to me." The blond fellow closes his eyes, taken back by the sound of ghostly whispers next to his ear. "She's saying…I can barely make it out. She's saying…'Clint…Where did your father hide the gin?'" Clint flutters his eyes back open and brushes away a false tear. "Oh man, that takes me back."

That makes Bucky grin. "What makes you think he wants to marry a respectable woman?" he retorts. Then he's turning that blue stare on Clint, quite happy to play shoulder devil to Isaiah's advising guardian angel. "Don't listen to him," he admonishes, holding up a metal forefinger. "Life's too short not to have the fun you can. Take it from a dead guy - if ponies, booze, and girls're what you want, go for it. Honestly, if I'd known how things were gonna end up, I'd'a screwed a lot more girls in Paris before the end of the war." Then CLint hands his Lucky back, lit, and Bucky takes a deep, luxurious drag. His eyes close in sheer contentment for a moment, like a cat's, then he exhales on a pleased sigh. "Thanks," he says, simply.

The black soldier looks at the two of them like they are gross and puts his sandwich back down not having an appetite any more. "You two are nasty." he says, crosses his arms and sticking out his tongue at them. He rolls his eyes, "I'd rather have my wife than a hundred, hundred, other women. She's the best. Nothing better. You don't know what you're missing being single. Love makes everything better."

Clint smiles over at Bucky, conspiratorially when he hands that smoke back, as if giving the man his blessing. You, sir, can hang. Casually shrugging while he's bisected by that veritable angel and devil scenerio, let's be honest, there's no contest. "See? The dead guy gets it. Really, I'm surprised I've made it this far in life. I didn't anticipate lasting this long, so I felt like it was prudent to do as much living as possible in the time I had." Though, to his credit, Clint takes another puff and looks at his paper, rubbing his thumb against his temple for a scratch. "Good for you, boss. Some of us just don't have that luck, though. I can barely find a sandwich that'll agree with me for long enough for me to eat it."

Well, he's got manners enough to refrain from blowing smoke into either of their faces, at least. Bucky flicks the Lucky to the corner of his mouth, like some movie gangster, all the better to chat while he's still getting nicotine. "Mister, you got no idea. Steve was always the squeaky clean one. Me….not so much. I'm sure your good lady is wonderful, and maybe some day I'll feel like that again. But in the meanwhile…." He spreads his hands, shrugs theatrically. "I'm hardly in any position to go courting a good girl." He inclines his head to Clint. Clearly, the archer understands, even as he snags an ashtray with a finger, drags it over. Presumably not intending to beat anyone to death with it, a la Bourne.

Bradley shakes his large bald head, "You're missing the big picture." he says then he looks at the man with the metal arm pointing at him, "You," he says then points at Clint, "and you," then he points to himself, "and me, spent our youths trying to get ourselves killed in glorious ways and you know what? We keep fudging it up! We kept aiming to die and death kept refusing to take us. That's because somewhere out there in the world, there is someone waiting for us, someone who needs us. It's not about you, " he says pointing at Bucky again, "or you" he says pointing to Clint, "or me." he says pointing to himself, "It's about them." he says pointing towards the wall meaning a general out-there, "We owe it to them to take care of ourselves to put ourselves in that good position, because like it or not, they are coming to us. We don't deserve it, but we are getting it, so try not to fudge it up by being a dillweed about life. Try and make yourself worthy of that person waiting on you, that is when you'll find what is missing."

"Good girl needs a good man," Clint glances over at Bucky briefly, then back to his paper. That's just not him just now. "I'm just not complaining about the bad ones that come my way, that's all. Bad girls need something similar to lovin' too." Yes, they are nasty, you're not wrong, Isaiah, but Clint has fun with it.

The boyscout goes on his inspirational speech and Clint continues to puff on his cigarette, though there wasn't much of it left to begin with, he's stubbing it out a moment later into the ashtray that Bucky's politely not murdered anyone with. The words don't cause a huge revelation from Barton. He doesn't gape at the man or turn all his attention that way, but his head does lift, turning very slightly so he can watch Isaiah. Listening. Once he's finished, however, Barton does fold his arms over his paper and turn to face the man beside him squarely.

"Okay. Let's assume that I meet this woman. Who says it's going to be a respectable one? I want a lady who's going to get me, keeps up and loves me for all the screwed up tangle of bullshit that involves. I spend enough of my life pretending to be other stuff, if I find a woman that I'm meant to be with, I don't want to suddenly have to put on another hat so I'm acceptable." Reaching over, Clint's intent on patting Isaiah on one massive shoulder. "You're a good guy, man. The world needs good guys. I'm just not that guy, and I want my girl to match. You know? And I'm right on track to finding her," the archer grins crookedly. "/If/ she exists."

That has Buck's expression going pinched - a little cynical, a lot weary. "I'm afraid," he says, and now there's an odd, cold dryness to his voice, the syllables going precise, clipped, "Afraid you're not quite right. Death's had me several times now. There wasn't any refusal." He takes a long drag, holds it a beat, and then exhales from one corner of his mouth. Something's changed in his body language, a sense of different presence. Winter's shadow has his opinions, too.

"And it wasn't love that brought me back." He holds up a finger, "The first time, it was the Russians - they wanted an experimental subject, and they knew the Germans'd used me as an experimental subject for their supersoldier program." Another finger, and it's V for Victory, for a moment. "The second time, I was dead and cold on a shower curtain in someone's apartment because the guys that stole me from SHIELD needed to trade me to the Russians *alive* for an unspecified weight of semtex. A mutant who could raise the dead - and I was really dead, a SHIELD agent shot me in the face, the pictures really are awful - was using his abilities not to heal or help but to raise funds for terrorist activities." Three fingers, and then he opens the metallic hand. "The last however many times I had these things from another world using me as a pit bull. They literally turned me into a monster, and I killed one of my best friends. Happily, the people who love him were able to help me get him back from his particular afterlife, but…."

He taps ash into the ashtray, sharp little motions. "And no one needs me that bad. I was nearly two decades in Soviet custody, no one came for me. I was the one waiting." His eyes are cold, as he gazes at Isaiah. "I appreciate your purity of soul," he says, drily. "You got fucked over by our side - you've got far more right to be angry at these guys here. Me….I'm just looking for refuge, before the Soviets get me and steal me from myself again.

Standing up, and up and up, The big black man looks down at Clint and smiles at him, "You are a good man. If you weren't, you wouldn't be here. I'm just thinking you can be even better if you try. Why go for the silver when you can go for the gold? Unless, you're afraid of trying?" he asks putting it in terms an archer can understand, competition and prizes. "Worse case, you end up being too good for your silver prize and it's easier because she's grateful." he reasons all logical and wise sounding.

Looking over at Bucky he says, "Yeah, they put me through hell, worse than the experiments and the war was the sixteen years of being locked in solitary. Your mind turns on itself, but you know what, love got the through that, and I think you'll find, if you really look back and are honest with yourself, your love for someone got you through your hells to. They took everything from you, but you are still here. There is some part of you that survived. So ask yourself, what was in your life before that still is. That's who you love. That's who you held on to. For me that was my wife and daughter." he says, then he smiles again, "Who I'm going to go call right now. Enjoy the sandwiches." he says patting Clint on his shoulder on his way by, "You're more than you give yourself credit for. Stop being such a cracker and love yourself." he says then he walks off.

Clint gives Isaiah a look that is all ego, and a cocky, crooked smile to match. "Have you /met me/, man?" Afraid of trying? Psht. Pfft. Hah. Cha. Right. Isaiah hits his mark with great zeal regarding Clint. "Trying isn't the problem, I think you're just assuming that I can't be a good man and spend half my paycheck on ponies. And if it's that mystical, then it should be able to cut through the bologna that I've piled up around me."

The archer then falls silent when Bucky motherfuckin' Barnes goes on a speech. Sure, his expression is middling to neutral, but somewhere internally he has to be super interested while Bucky dumps his purse out all over the table.

Huh. A pumped up soldier assassin isn't someone you want getting aggitated. So Isaiah gives his parting words of wisdom and Clint leans way back, casual and cool. "I love myself plenty. Give me three minutes and I'll go love myself over in the john to prove the point." Upnodding toward Isaiah. "Thanks, man. You have a good one." His attention shifting back to Bucky with a casual shake of his head. "Snake oil salesmen don't have shit on that one, man."

He subsides, after that. But there's no embarassment, no attempt to change the subject. Instead, Bucky devotes himself to lighting a second Lucky off the end of the first, before knuckling it out, face set, gazing off at nothing in particular. This is what SHIELD's been offered, a broken wreck shambling home like a persistent zombie. Then he's glancing at Clint sidelong, and shrugging, making one of those little moues, as if to dismiss the subject.

Words can get you in trouble, Clint knows it. They can also get you out of a fix, you just have to pick the right ones. That's the tricky part that Clint still struggles with from time to time. Haunted nothings floating behind Barnes' eyes and Clint shrugs and looks over to Isaiah's forgotten plate, taking a half of a sandwich and chewing on it, lips smacking slightly. "Forget him, Barnes. The world needs boyscouts, but they don't get it," eager to dismiss the subject as well, he goes back to looking over the races listings. "Ransom Paycheck. That's the most apt name I've seen on a horse for a while. I'd ask you to grab a burger but they still got you under house arrest, huh?"

Buck nods at that, but something's eased in his posture. "Yeah," he says, before blowing an idle smoke ring up at the light fixtures. There's even a grin at the horse's name, even if it's a faintly grim one. "Honesty in advertising, right?" He seems to've forgotten the sandwiches Isaiah brought. Instead, he reaches for a cup of water.

"SHIELD's great at blowing smoke up your ass, but chances are if they're telling you what you don't want to hear, it's the truth," Clint advises with a crooked angle to his mouth, stormy blue eyes peering over at the man across from him. "Not that I gotta tell you that. I have to say, I was almost surprised to see you back around. I wasn't sure you weren't going to shop around."

"I know Peggy Carter. She won't screw me over. And Steve still has some pull here. The CIA….they'd just suck me dry and throw away the peel," he says, spreading his hands. "No. This is my best chance to stay functioning and free, relatively speaking." Clearly, he's done his share of cogitating on the subject. "And let's face it, SHIELD needs the disposable wetwork op. I fit the bill."

Clint bobs his head shortly to one side, yeilding to that logic smoothly as he pulls a pen out of one of his loose pockets and starts circling names, then aggressively flips the many-folded paper over to a crossword that already has a few words filled in. Though…it doesn't look quite right in the fact that he has drawn in extra boxes on the tail ends so he can write out 'candyass' in the neat little boxes.

"Yeah, but you gotta know that if Peggy and Steve know you well enough that they can pull these strings, they aren't going to be the ones seeing you as a disposable wetwork op." Clint mentions down to his paper, then flicks his eyes up to Bucky candidly.

"'But he's my old buddy from the war,' isn't going to be enough to get the rest of the guys to sign on with me being somewhere other than Death Row," Bucky notes, lazily. Then he's grinding out the Lucky, and rising. "Gotta make myself useful," He's utterly casual about it. "I think, for now, I'm gonna go lie down." It's as much a favor to his minders as himself - they can lock him in while he at least attempts to doze. Sometimes, he succeeds. "Thanks for the light." And without further farewell, he's heading for the little room they've allotted him.

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