1964-08-07 - Bucky gets a pep talk
Summary: Bradley and Bucky talka bout death and living while Bradley works out.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
isaiah-bradley bucky 

He's been training, as much as he can. They don't permit him anything like a real weapon, but there is a gym, and Buck's taken advantage of it. Having worked out, he's showered, and he's in his default clean jeans and t-shirt. His hair's loose, down past his shoulders, and drying. Coming in tothe canteen to get a drink, since it's long past meal time.

August 2nd, North Vietnam fires on a US destroyer in the Gulf of Tonkin incident and there are scattered race riots in New Jersey.

August 4th, Civil rights workers Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman & James E Chaney, bodies discovered in an earthen Mississippi dam and North Vietnam torpedos US ships Gulf of Tonkin.

August 5th, US begins bombing North Vietnam and Prometheus, the world's oldest tree, is cut down in Nevada.

Today: US Congress approves Gulf of Tonkin resolution.

"Honey, calm down. I'm sure they won't deploy me. They don't want the world to know about me, remember?" Isaiah says over the phone to his wife, "With all the riots the last thing they want the country to find out about is the program. That's why I'm giving them the chance to make it right without telling the whole truth. " he goes silent for a moment.

"You're right, it ain't right. It's a sin on the soul of America and one day it'll come to light but the way things are right now, we can't let that be today. " he reassures her, "Yes, they is treating me fine. Yes, I'm eating enough." he says chuckling into the phone.

"Of course. I love you. I would tell you if I was in trouble." he says then a ten minute conversation starts of them saying goodbye to each other including the "No, you hang up." debate. It's just… so… sweet and out of place as the chaos of SHIELD goes on around the big man.

After finally getting off the phone that is supposed to be used for official business he tanks the woman who let him use it and head to the gym himself with a great big smile on his face.

As he walks into the gym wearing the gray sweat pants and white T-shirt that SHIELD provided for him he just practically GLOWS with happiness and the joy of young love.

For all his apparent absorption in the fetching of water, Buck's listening. Of course he was. "Do you really think they'll deploy you?" he asks, without greeting or preamble. But there's something in his eyes that clearly welcomes the progress. He's offered his skills to SHIELD….and that particular sort of chaos has been his stock in trade for decades.

For all his apparent absorption in the fetching of water, Buck's listening. Of course he was. "Do you really think they'll deploy you?" he asks, without greeting or preamble. But there's something in his eyes that clearly welcomes the progress. He's offered his skills to SHIELD….and that particular sort of chaos has been his stock in trade for decades.

Shrugging his large shoulders Bradley moves over to the weights bench and to work out some missing his wife frustrations. He starts adding weights to both sides, lots and lots of weight. He misses his wife a lot. "If they do, I'll go. They've sent me on lots of suicide missions before. " he says smiling, "I just keep disappointing them." he says oddly cheerful about how his government betrays him over and over and over.

"I doubt they will. They want me where they can keep an eye on me. Not to mention my wife. My faith is not a woman you want to mess with. She spent sixteen years making political contacts and learning about the government to find the hole they locked me in. She has a lot of friends." he says making a face like -believe me-.

"I think she's half the reason I'm still alive." he says as he balances the bar with just all the weights. After all it's a gym for regular agents not super-soldiers. Taking off his shirt he revealed his hairless, muscular chest as he hangs up his shirt and grabs a towel to put down on the bench. In the hallway one of the agents walking by looks into the gym then not watching where she is going crashes into another agent carrying a bundle of folders.

"No, I think they'll just keep me here until they decide to kill me or they give the people in my program the honorable burials they deserve and reinstate their families benefits. A small price to make me go back into retirement."

He's the smaller, runtier version of the supersoldier, the Soviet hackjob iteration. Not a big brick like Steve or Isaiah. Buck watches him silently for a long moment, pale eyes thoughtful. "You sound like Steve," he says. And by his tone, he's not sure if that's a compliment or an insult. Steve's a great guy, but not the sharpest knife in the drawer. "He's a true believer, like you are." Again, that neutrality. "You really think you're gonna get the government to own up to what they did?"

"Not right away." Bradley admits, "They'll say it was a clerical error and that the men's families should have been paid the whole time. That the men died in combat and that's why there are no bodies to be buried. They'll give them ceremonials. But one day, I believe one day people will move past racism and when they do, the government will uncover the true-truth. Long after everyone involved has been dead. May take a hundred years, but one day the world will know. I believe in people. I believe once we aren't afraid, we naturally rise to be our best selves." he says as he positions himself on the bench and starts to do reps with the weights.

"What about you? What do you think will happen? Do you see a time with no war? A time with abundance and greatness or do you think we're all doomed? Doomed is a popular opinion."

Bucky worries at a hangnail for a moment, considering. With his hair down, he looks more like some hippy kid than one of SHIELD's personal boogeymen. But then, there's that ever present minder. "I think we're doomed. I've known the Russians and the Americans, and the time'll come when that balance tips too far…..and it'll be nothing left but cockroaches and dandelions." Buck's tone is bleak, but not particularly grieved.

"When I was in solitary, there was this lady who came to talk to me. I never saw her face. She was sent to check on the sanity of the prisoners. Regulations you know. " Bradley starts off a story, "Once when I was real low. I think it was year six or seven." he says but time becomes meaningless in a cell with no windows. "I told him I wanted to die. I begged her to kill me. They had me in a straight jacket. I had tried to chew my own wrists open. she said to me that death was going to come. she comes for all of us." the man says as he looks up into the air and lifts in mechanical repetitive motions.

"Death, she explained, was always right behind you, always walking with you, watching your life, a companion not a predator. She said that when we died death would ask us to tell the story of our lives so she would see what we learned from it." he tells, "Knowing we all are going to die, that's already taken care of. The only thing we have left to choose is how well we live before then and that is why death watches. Death watches us to see how we use the gift of life she gives us." the large man says as he does his reps.

"You can choose to be happy, or you can choose to be miserable, in the end, you'll still be there, and death will be there to greet you. An old friend who walked alongside you all the way. So why not be happy and share that happiness with her?"

"Because that isn't how it works," Bucky says, with that weariness in his face. "I've died. I've been to some of the places that the dead go. One of 'em was okay, but boring. The other was depressing as ….well, not hell. Hell'd be painful. But it was depressing and brown and flat and nothing. If there's an iteration of death that's a friend to anything mortal, I've yet to find it. Maybe if I'd'a been a better guy, I'd've had angels bear me away, but…..that's not what I got."

Smiling Bradley starts to do his reps very slowly to isolate the different muscles and hold the weight for a while at each key flex point. "Maybe you should be less broody, more interesting? Maybe boring people go to boring places. Or maybe that was just the waiting room because Death knew you weren't going to be gone forever? Like a doctor's office?" he asks then he lets go of the barbell with one hand and scratches his chest holding it up with just the other hand before he resumes

"I never got the name of that nice lady but she came to visit me when I was really down. She was nice. She use to complain about people like you. She would say, it's always me, me, me woe is me, but do they ever think about Death's needs? Do they ever think maybe she would enjoy going to see a play or roller skating? Do they ever think maybe she has feelings?" he says and chuckles.

"As funny as it seems now, talking to death kept me from going nuts and I don't know, it changed me. It made me see all the stuff I wasn't making a priority in my life. " he says as he sets the bar back down and sits up to look at Bucky. "You can either survive long enough to die, or you can start living. It sounds like you have nowhere to go but up."

"You really need to spend some time with Steve. In fact, when you get out of this, you should really go talk to him. I bet he'll have a job for you….and he's got enough pull to maybe help you with this crusade of yours. He'll like you, and you'll like him. It's really goddamn hard to dislike Steve Rogers unless you're an actual card-carrying Nazi," he says. "I've met the queen of Hel - hel with one L, the Norse version. I don't want to know anything about her feelings, she's terrifying." Oh, the irony, considering this man works for the actual DEvil on a part-time basis.

Taking the weights back off and picking up his towel, wiping down the bench the giant says, "People probably say the same thing about you, but you have feelings and need friends just like everyone else. Maybe she's no different? I like to give everyone a chance. Heck, a lot of the nazi didn't want to be there. They didn't believe in the war, they just thought they had to do it. Once you give them a choice, make them see they have the power to say no, many of them joined the resistance." he says as he slings the towel over the back of his thick neck, "Give people a chance. Especially yourself." he says as he walks backwards into the shower area picking up his shirt as he goes. He points both large pointed fingers at Bucky, "No matter where you go, there you are. You might as well like yourself." he says smiling as he back around the corner, leaning over sideways and sticking his large arms out over his head horizontally he waves them loosely in the air as he slides sideways out of sight.

"You are a fucking nut, Bradley," But Bucky's tone is amused, and not bitterly so. "People say a lot of stuff about me. Most of it is true." He sighs and shakes his head, before picking up his cup of water and downing it in a few swallows. Then he's slinging the empty into a trash bin, and turning around to head to his quarters. Sharon's brought him books, after all.

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