1964-08-24 - The Honest Truth
Summary: Sharon comes home from a mission to be honest with Bucky about a few things. It doesn't go all that well.
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Theme Song: None
sharon bucky 

He's feeling insomniac….and has taken shameless advantage of Steve's hospitality. So at the moment, Bucky's in the pool, which is glowing that jewel blue, courtesy of internal lighting. He's got a t-shirt on to cover the graft, as well as blue swim trunks, but the arm itself is on display. HE's got no cover for it, nor any convenient illusion. But then, who's there to be bothered, after all?

An international flight, several time zones, too many cigarettes and too many hours alone with her head, Sharon is finally back 'home'. The Mansion has become her home, weirdly, since Steve offered and she hasn't had time to consider moving out. Or, maybe she doesn't want to. Either way, a fast shower to get the flight off of her and she's pulled on her bikini because she hurts enough from whatever fight she was in that a soak in the pool with several cigarettes sounds lovely. She's got a bottle of Jack in one hand and her Luckys in the other, fully expecting to be all alone as she steps out onto the roof. She's nothing but long, toned limbs, a skimpy red bikini, and ten miles of bad road in the way of bruises, particularly over her left side and ribs. At least it seems she wasn't shot or stabbed, though there's some brush burn and road rash in places. She begins to walk to the pool before freezing in place, seeing him.

He looks faintly startled, a little bemused, treading water in the middle of the pool, hair loose enough his shoulders. It's just deep enough he can keep from touching. "Hey," he says, pleasantly, blinking at her. "Looks like you went to the wars. You okay?"

"…Hey." That's a good start, if nothing else. A ghost of a smile crosses Sharon's thin mouth and she steps the rest of the way over to the pool, taking a moment to just enjoy watching him and carefully put down her defenses that slammed up at discovering she wasn't alone. He was safe. SHe liked him. Gently, she leans over to set down the Jack and smokes at the edge of the pool. "Yeah…fine. Just sore. Still breathing. More than I can say… well… Job is done." Sharon states simply, that flatness in her voice that he, or a part of him, once knew well. The flatness of a killer.

Safe. If only. Neutralized for the moment, anyhow. He's at ease in the water, despite the arm, which shimmers in the pool's light. "Good," Bucky says, simply. He doesn't scold her for bringing glass up on the pool deck. Not his place, after all. "Water's fine," he adds, inconsequentially. He doesn't ask where she's been or what she's done. Not his concern, either.

"I…am not intruding, I hope?" Sharon offers gently, but if he doesn't protest, she then steps around to the far end of the pool and gives a little leap, swan diving straight into the far end and cutting smoothly through the water. She doesn't have much in the way of curves, all sleek, trained muscle, but it makes a pretty sight in doing something like this. She'll break through the water a few feet from him, exhaling a breath of aching relief. "…chlorine…on… scratches. Fuck, that stings."

"Good for 'em," he suggests, solemnly. Still treading water, enjoying the feeling of weightlessness, suspension. "The chlorine, I mean. ANd no, you're ot intruding. I tend to work nights, so….even on nights off, I don't sleep early, you know?"

"Probably. Still hurts like a bitch." Sharon half growls, though it's more mock pain. She's a woman who can handle pain, she's just tired enough now to be pouting a bit about it. She wades over to his area, but mainly so she can get through to the bottle of Jack. Unscrewing the top, she knocks back a full, good gulp of the stuff and her shoulders practically fall an inch with that. "…yeah… I'm…not much of a sleeper either, really. Just got back, tossed down bags…showered. There was no way I was sleeping, so…" She shrugs and motions to the pool.

Bucky nods in solemn understanding. "It's relaxing," he agrees. "And being able to take weight off joints…." No wonder he loves the pool. Considering how much internal work he has. ….he seems to be able to float. The arm and its additions don't seem to weigh him down beyond normal density.

"It's… nicer than I anticipated…" Sharon admits, not really having taken advantage yet. She wades over to the little stairs, perching on them and leaning back. The back of her head on the concrete, staring up at the stars. For a few moments she just breathes out and sinks. It's like she could sleep, or maybe just stop, just cease to be, right then and there… But then she draws breath again and flexes sore legs. "…How you feeling?"

He grins at that, briefly, finally paddles over to where he can stand, at least neck deep. "I'm doing better," he says, quietly. He doesn't mention the little brother(s) or the mess in Vietnam. He may not officially work for SHIELD yet, but….loose lips and all that. "Got some stuff under better control."

"Good. That's…real good." Sharon fully opens her eyes, looking over and down at him as he stands. Her gaze is a bit drowsy and probably entirely too trusting for someone who tried to kill her years ago. But her smile, for once, is earnest. She actually seems happy to see him doing better. "I was…worried about you, for a while. SHIELD… was… were not kind people, when I worked for them. I guess they've gotten better."

It's the look in his eyes that's different - nothing of Winter's old icy calm, but that haunted look. It never seems to change, no matter how much expression changes the rest of his face. "I don't know," he says, simply. "It might be that I have old friends with pull," He doesn't name Peggy or Steve, but he might as well have. "I've….also done a few things to signal my willingness to play by their rules." …..literally. They have the codewords, now. He's utterly surrendered.

"Hey, it got you out of there. It got you to a point you can relax in a pool… Have a life. Help where you want, work where you want…It's worth it, right? I think you're worth it…" Even if Sharon never knew him before, only has gotten to know him here, everything she says seems to ring of truth. The woman likes him for some reason. She reaches back and over to her pack of cigarettes, flicking some water off her hand so she can pull out two and stick both between her lips. Her lighter is taken up a moment later and she licks the flame over both ends before offering one towards him.

And how much is that due to possible orders from her masters? Not that Buck seriously thinks this is CIA-directed courtship. Obligingly, he accepts it with muttered thanks, coming to water with depth to stand in, not much more than waist deep. The t-shirt's dark, so it's not transparent, but it's stuck close to him, sodden.

Well, that was a sight. Sharon swallows back tightly, ignoring the odd flutter of her pulse in her throat. Men simply didn't do that to her any more so she forces herself to sit straight, take control, keep that concrete expression in place. "Figured it was a nice night for some cigarettes…" She offers, somewhat awkwardly. Still not all that good at small talk, but she is trying.

He's not much better, but he's at least listening and responding, not shutting down or creeping away. "It's surprisingly pleasant up here," he agrees. "And oddly quiet, even though this is a prettybusy part of the city…" The shirt hides the ugly rim of scarring around the graft, though he can hardly pass for normal. The rest of it seems waterproof. He's snagged them an ashtray - no leaving ash on the deck for Avengers to step in.

"Bucky…" She starts, but then some of her courage goes, Sharon's breath just stopping him as she watches him for another long few heartbeats. The cigarette offers a good distraction. Then, she offers a bit more quiet, "…James." She's never really said his actual name before, but she knows it. Tasting it on her tongue, watching how his eyes react to being called that.

He looks like nothing so much as a dog awaiting a command - brows arched promptingly, pale gaze fixed on her face. "Yeah?" he asks, setting the cigarette down on the ashtray, carefully.

"I…" Sharon breathes out again before forcing herself to put down her cigarette as well. It wasn't about cigarettes. She stands then, not as tall as him, but mostly able to come chest to chest. "…I… haven't… really been sweet with someone in a long time and I sure as hell don't know how to do it but… I like you. I like your company… and shit, there is very little I'd like more than to drag you down stairs and shag you silly but… I think I might actually suck at that when I actually give a shit so I have no clue what to do but stand here and stare at you and feel like I'm twelve again and that's fucking awful but it is what it is."

This is….good, bad, whatever it is, it is way up there on the list of things he wasn't expecting. If that's a honeypot charade put on for the purpose of getting Agency hooks into a long-sought target, she's good enough to be up for this year's Best Actress. It's clear in his expression that he's pretty close to stunned into silence. It's good thing he's not holding the cigarette, he'd've smashed it. "Wow," he says, after a little. "Uh." But then something leaves him in what looks all too like a deflation. The magic 8-ball has answered, and the prospects are Not Good. The fingers of his right hand bury themselves in the hair just above his nape, that old nervous gesture. "I'm sorry," he says, simply.

As that deflation comes and that far too expected answer with it, Sharon just gives a slight nod. "No. It's…okay. I figured. I just…had to say something before I kept just stammering around being stupid. I… wouldn't touch a woman like me either, really, and I wouldn't know where to begin actually doing this kind of shit for real so… Yeah. Just… wanted to say it." She gives him a weak smile, her heart and eyes not in it, but she's trying. "… still glad you're out. You'll find a nice girl." Because she certainly isn't. She then sinks back, reaching for her cigarette again. And the Jack. Her one real friend.

"No," he says, slowly, still clearly groping for words. "I won't. It's not a matter of you, Sharon. It doesn't have anything to do with you, so don't think it does," His voice is very low, and he's dropped his gaze to the reflections that ripple their way across the pool's bottom. "You're a very beautiful woman. But I can't do anything like that. I don't have the luxury of pretending I can. There's a lot of stuff I can't explain," He's coloring, it's clear even in the glow of the pool and the few lamps on the deck. "But a lot of it boils down to ….my past isn't done with me. Likely it'll never be. I'm not dragging anyone else down with me if I can help it."

The blonde can't really look at him now. Not cowardly enough to just run out of the pool like some teenager who has had her heart broken. Most of Sharon knew how this was going to go. She shakes her head slightly, "…Bucky, if…*anyone* in the world understands what the shit your past was, it's me. I'm not some clueless fluff of a thing going all starry eyed at the war hero. Hell… chances are, one of these days, they're gonna order me out of a bar, into the field, and you'll never see me again. It's stupid that I even get ideas like this because it'd be SHIT for me to do that to ANYONE, much less someone I care about. But… fuck… It's lonely. Damn if I don't miss… someone. SOmething. Being… a person. Like… a real person. Not just… that shit. But no, I wouldn't do that to anyone who… who doesn't get it either. You, though… you might understand. I think that's why I… never mind. I'm being idiotic."

"No, I do understand," he says, simply. Still absurdly pink, as if with a sudden case of sunburn, bright against the usual pallor. "I know what it's like to live in the cold. But…..I…." Bucky spreads his hands in a helpless gesture. "Can't," he finishes, miserably. "I can be your friend, but I can't be your lover."

She still can't meet his eyes so, while she might catch some of that flush out of the corner of her gaze, Sharon isn't seeing it dead on. She's just seeing the cherry of her cigarette and another lonely night ahead. She exhales a long breath. "I understand. I… didn't really expect more. You will find a nice girl. A girl who makes taking the risk worth it… I… I hope you do, someday. No one should be alone like this."

"YOu're not listening to me, Sharon," he says, patiently. "There won't be any lovers in my life. Period. I know you don't want to hear that, but that's what it is."

With those words, Sharon looks up to him, studying him for a long moment. She's not fighting or disagreeing any longer. She might not fully believe it, but she doesn't push. She just gives a slight nod. "Friends, then. I'm not just walking away because we're not fucking… I'm a bitch and an asshole, but I'm not a royal c*nt." Sharon states with a half smirk.

Bucky offers her a tiny smile. "Good," he says, after a moment. "And I doubt you're either of those things. But you'll see."

A deeper smirk crosses her thin mouth, "Oh, I'm both those things. Before you came along… and before I realized I'd just straight up break the boy, I had some thoughts about Steve and… he firmly was terrified of me, for exactly those reasons. So… trust me. When Steve Rogers can't look you in the eye, you know you've done some *shit* in your life…" Sharon states with a half laugh. One of those laugh or cry sort of situations.

His lips purse, and he makes a dismissive face. "Steve's always been too much of a boyscout to look certain things in the face. Including what and who I really am now. He looks at me, he still sees his old buddy Bucky," He shrugs at that, but there's that weariness in his face.

"Yeah. Steve enjoyed my company…except when he really realized what I do." Sharon shrugs quietly, "He's a good guy. I'd never want to break him. So… we keep up the facade there, and… when we need to bitch and break or just talk reality, we'll always be here…" Sharon offers him with a half smile, this one mostly honest. she is trying now.

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