1964-08-27 - Black Widow's Kiss
Summary: Black Widow comes to visit Bucky and finds he's not living alone these days.
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bucky black-widow kai 


So, Bucky appears to sleep in….no one particular place. Workwise, he's at Lux quite a bit…..or heads all the way out to Governor's Island, and the SHIELD base there, which is altogether a bad, bad sign. As for where he crashes, well….there's the Avengers' Mansion, which is nowhere any self-respecting Soviet agent would go, an apartment in the Village…..and here. Hell's Kitchen, not the nicest part of New York.

Not a big apartment, this one. At the moment, he's apparently asleep on the couch in the living room, for there's a blonde guy who has the actual bedroom. Showered right before bed, so his hair's still damp….and he's curled up under a blanket, wearing nothing more than boxers and a t-shirt.

Ever since encountering Winter Soldier at that night in Sister Margaret's Home for Wayward Girls, the Black Widow has been on his trail. She has some key spots he frequents, and since survellience city in a SHIELD facility is for too risky, and Avengers Mansion is damn near suicidal and deterimental to her assignment, she has picked what seems like one of two apartments. Hell's Kitchen is such a fun neighborhood, one of the only places she gets to slip out of her role as Mr. Stark's ever obliging PA, and give a well deserving scum the beating he deserves from an unexpected source.

Tonight, however, she's donning her Black Widow suit for a more formal reunion with Winter Soldier. Only thing she doesn't anticipate, is that the apartment is shared with another, because last she's been here there were no immediate signs of it. Swinging about buildings and climbing up walls is child's play for her, and in no time she worked herself a personal invitation, by entering the bedroom's window.

Natasha smirks to herself as she apparently caught Bucky fast asleep, and as she walks silently towards the bed, she pokes her fingers at the back of the neck of the sleeping man. His reaction should tell a lot about how well he is, because at Sister Margaret's he looked 'off'. "Bang," she says quietly, "you're dead, comrade."

Kai lies asleep in the bedroom, and alas his sweet baboo couldn't stay tonight, so he's in bed alone. For the best, probably. He has one arm slung around a plush frog, and he's using a teddy bear as a pillow. At the end of the bed is a huge stuffed dog. This is a grown man, people. His little dog is sacked out on the pillow beside him, dead to the world. Some protector he turned out to be. The dog snores, too, all wheezy and snorfling. This doesn't stop when Natsha puts a 'gun' to his master's head.

Kai squints, then sits up and tries to smack the stranger in his bedroom with the plush frog while uttering a less than macho, "AAAHHHHH!" Beat beat beat.

Kai is screaming. And not in the way he does when Loki get things *just right*, either. The man on the couch goes from more or less fast asleep to on his feet with a knife in hand. No questions asked, he's shouldering in Kai's bedroom door like a SWAT team serving a no-knock warrant.

However, without his usual black gear on, Bucky's a much less threatening figure. White t-shirt, blue striped boxers, not so intimidating. «You,» he says, voice a snarl. Of course it's the informal version of the word. Not so much with the good manners, is the Soldier.

Black Widow was all about surprising the Winter Soldier, the man who gave her such a hard time at the Red Room Academy, so it's only a moment after she presses her 'gun' at the back of his sleeping head, that she notes something very ood. Since when does Winter Soldier sleep with plushies? That does not compute, unless he's taken severe brain damage. Always a possibility in their line of work.

Then comes his reaction, a distinct, non-Winter Soldier, non-protocol, non-any-trained-person-ever reaction from the sleeping man. Her 'gun' winds up bapped with a freakin' plush frog. "Bozhe moi…" yes, she is very worried about what sort of brain washing her good friend and once mentor had undergone. She leans in closer, and whispers in Russian in the sleeping man's ear, "<you're dead, Soldier>", perhaps hearing Russian will help spark his memory.

"I don't know what that means!" Kai says, and he takes another swing with the frog. Then he slams himself against the wall in the opposite direction, grabbing a sheet for decency, and grabs the huge plush dog to hide behind. He moves awfully fast, with quick reflexes, and he hits the wall pretty solidly, like he's heavier than he could possibly be. The funny thing is, to those whose native tongue is Russian? He speaks Russian. To English ears, English. "Who are you!?" He is most definitely not a soldier. He's an artist. He's got delicate sensibilities.

"She's a Russian agent, Kai!" Bucky's swinging for her with the knife already. Lucky for her….he's aiming with the butt of the handle, and trying for her temple, rather than trying to cut her throat. Even he's slipping….the practical thing would've been to creep in while she's distracted by finding Kai and knife her. «You're talking to the wrong guy,» Bucky informs her, in that flat Vladivostok accent. Don't turn on Kai, don't turn on Kai…..he can't see the elf hurt again.

Needless to say, Black Widow isn't happy one bit when she discovers the sorry excuse for a man isn't at all the Winter Soldier. Sure, on the one hand she's relieved he isn't that badly affected by anything. But on the other? Being so sure she found him, she didn't take the extra time to verify before engaging, and now she's nearly compromised herself. Good thing she's confident, authoritative, and deliberate in her execution.

"Let me tell you friend," she goes right back to English, and in lunging for Kai, she just manages to avoid getting stabbed by an underpar execution from Bucky. Should Kai lift his arms protectively against her lunge, he'll find it futile, she's not throwing a fist at him. No kick, no shots, nothing expected. Just a puff of pink powdery cloud gets released that would knock him out. Bucky would know it as the Widow's Kiss. At least he can take solace in the fact it'll do no worse than put Kai right back to sleep, and make him a bit confused when he wakes.

Whether it affected Kai successfully or not, Widow whirls on a heel, and takes a defensive stance, grinning as she looks at Bucky, going right back to Russian, as she asks for the humor of it all, «why jump to conclusions? Who said I was a Russian agent? Having said that…are you the right guy?» She recognizes Bucky immediately this time around, and the way she's dressed, she knows he should definitely recognize her. There's a test to see how well he truly is.

Kai has a physiology close to that of an Asgardian. It becomes apparent there's something different about this sorry excuse for an elf when he gets the hit to the face with the pink powder, and he blinks a few times, and his eyelids grow heavy, but then he pushes himself up to sit properly rather than falling back to sleep. He peers at the Widow, then Bucky, and he says, "Come on, man, we don't have to, like, fight. Everyone just chill out. Let's have a drink, maybe smoke a bowl.

Clearly he's not unaffected.

He reaches for a pillow and says, "Here, let me just…" And he tears it in half like t was little more than paper. Pillow stuffing explodes. "Oops." Doesn't know his own strength when he's looped out.

Not a lot of guys with metal arms in New York. Especially metal arms with red stars on them. Bucky, however, does not seem disposed to listen to Kai's words. «I know you, Romanoff,» His voice is very cold, and the blue eyes no warmer. «You're here for me, don't bother to lie.» No doubt at all. But he's not attacking her, though he's also poised for a fight, knife at the ready.

Kai's only seen this facet of him a time or two….and never like this.

Black Widow seems very concerned with the fact the Widow's Kiss did not knock Kai out. He should have been out cold, and instead he just seems a bit spacey, but she only regards him with one sharp glance before assessing he's no threat, and returning her full attention to Bucky. "Why don't you go to sleep? Rest a while…" she offers to Kai in English, though with her gaze levelled at Bucky, she goes back to the Russian, «glad you can still recognize me. But if that's the case, why are you not happy to see me, comrade?» Natasha has most certainly seen the knife clearly held in his hand. She's also well aware of the capabilities and strength of that cybernetic arm. A fight is not in her best interest, even though she's perfectly equipped for it. Kai is too much of a wild card in this setting. «What happened to you, Winter Soldier? I know you better than to think you defacted…»

Kai blinks a few times, slowly, and he says, "Because you're fighting in my bedroom." His voice is thick, sleepy. He has pillow fluff in his hair. "You two know each other." It's not a question. He flops down on the bed, on his back, and he watches the conflict unfold. "Quintessential struggle between light and dark, framed in a veil of…" He yawns hugely. "…night. I need my charcoals." The artist, however, does not reach for his satchel of artsy things. He yawns again. "Seriously, though, stop it. This place is rent controlled." Still awake, barely, but too comfy to move.

About that, Black Widow. There's a beat where he's clearly considering trying to play along, to fake it. But…she's been following him. Seen him apparently playing along with SHIELD….and apparently heading off to crash in the house she knows Steve Rogers owns. Not much of an attempt at tradecraft from him - is he senile, broken? Or has he defected for real? «You don't know me as well as you think,» he informs her, still coiled and ready for a fight. «I'm not the Soldier. Not anymore. I don't want to kill you - what you are is not your fault. YOu should leave, Natasha.»

He flicks a look at Kai, incredulous. The elf is being so cool about this. Admittedly, it's very hard to kill Kai….and no one's hurt anyone. Yet.

«This guy doesn't really know you, does he, comrade?» Natasha asks Bucky, before snorting in Kai's general direction, "if this was a fight, the entire building would know, trust me, we are not having a fight." But she still looks back up at Bucky and asks with a knowing grin, «are we, comrade?»

The words that come out of Bucky, on the other hand, certainly seem to have an affect on Natasha. Though one never knows with her, what reactions are genuine, and what are made for play. «I…don't know…you? This is what you say to me, Winter Soldier? After all these years…when I get assignment, I scoff that Winter Soldier defected. Maybe something happen…maybe brainwash, SHIELD likes brainwash, no? But to say…I, don't know, you?» Black Widow eases her stance, holding her hands away from her body like a cross, essentially leaving herself open to any attack Bucky might choose to inflict. «I thought we were falling in love, that's why they separated us, haven't they…? And now I don't know you…I can't hurt you, Winter Soldier, but who did this to you? Them I can end.»

Kai pushes himself up on his elbows. "No, it's true, he's got his head scrubbed clean. Besides, who wants to go back to Mother Russia? The Yanks have all the cool stuff, you dig me, chick?" His accent is English, around London to be precise. "Why don't you join the winning side and you two can be together?" He's still loopy, and his grin is one of pure delight. "Bucky, wouldn't it be great? She's beautiful. You two would make such a cute couple."

Really, they aren't having a fight, yet. Bucky's just bristling at the beautiful woman in a catsuit who's broken in to his friend's bedroom. «I'm not the Soldier,» he insists. «I'm James Barnes. Him you don't know….» There's a beat where she's gotten to him. That flicker of the eyes where he's testing faulty memory….were they that close? Was it like that? «No. No one did this to me. The Winter Soldier is what was done to me.» His gaze slides to Kai again, disbelief writ plain on his face. That should be one of the tells that this really isn't Winter - Winter's about as expressive as a concrete block. James, on the other hand…."Yes, she's beautiful, Kai. She's also an assassin, for crying out loud!"

It is with the capitalist lies that come out of Kai's mouth that Natasha can tell he's no good friend of Bucky. After all, who would wish on anyone to live in the lax, sinful United States, and disparage the good name of efficent and hard working Mother Russia. Proposterous. «Nice friend you made there, Winter Soldier.»

Natasha certainly agrees that she doesn't know James Barnes, «an alias?» She asks, «deepcover?» There's always hope. «Would James Barnes be a friend of one Jack? I hear he's quite nice.»

But once Bucky states that Winter Soldier is what was done to him, for a flicker of a moment, he might tell the horror on Natasha's aghast face. She never met nor knew of a James Barnes. She only ever knew of Winter Soldier. The only explanation she has for this turn of event is that SHIELD broke Winter Soldier. They used their nefraious brainwashing devices, which must be better than anything the KGB has, and ruined one of her country's top assessts. The fact she also had her heart set on him, well, that's besides the point right now. Not like the Red Room would ever allow anything to develop. Even if in secret…but then she stops the musings. This is a lost encounter. «so Winter Soldier is a lie? You are really this…James Barnes? How many volts they shoot in your brain? I will try to avoid killing you…but they will pay. I promise you SHIELD will pay.» She starts to back towards the window from which she made her entry, «you were the one to give life meaning, Winter Soldier, they think they won stealing you…but I will fix you. I will find a way…and if I can't. I will kill them. All of them." She entirely disregards Kai at this point, she had noted him under a non-threat, whether it's due to the affect of her Widow's Kiss or not is besides the point. What she did find is most important intel. SHIELD has stolen Winter Soldier, and corrupted him to their nefarious means. Her handlers were right. The Americans had no limits.

Kai doesn't seem too keen on getting up, so threatening isn't an applicable adjective. "So were you," he tells Bucky. "Besides, listen to her, she still digs you. Love can overcome everything, man." He flashes the Black Widow a peace sign. "Love, man, that's the thing. Everything else is just, like, politics." Then she's threatening that SHIELD will pay, and he dimly squints at her, raising a hand like he should do something, then scrubbing it over his face. "I'm so fucked up right now," he mumbles. The Avengers would be proud of their elven member, no doubt.

"Remember what I said about love," he tells the deadly woman as she makes her way toward the window. Then, to Bucky, "Hey, you think the next time your girlfriend comes over she can bring more of that pink stuff?"

He knows he should kill her. He knows it. And…..he can't do it. James just can't even try. Winter, of course, caged within him, is all but yearning for her. Natasha, his steadfast ally, his prize student…..and perhaps something more. Memory plays tricks, after all. «Natasha, no,» he says, holding out his hand to her. «No. It's not like you think. Our handlers…it's been nothing but lies from start to finish. Now I'm free again. Free of the mask they put on me. I was always James. I fought with Captain America in the war….and when I died, the Russians found my body and revived me. Look. Look in the files if you don't believe me. Go back to Russia and find them, they'll bear out what I tell you. I swear it. SHIELD didn't steal me. I stole myself back from the Winter Soldier. You're clever, you can get them….and you're smart enough to make your own decisions.» Another incredulous look at Kai….but then, at least Kai isn't wading into the fight that isn't happening and escalating things. The line about the pink stuff has him rolling his eyes.

As Widow gets on the window sill, she figures the nonsense Kai is talking has to do with her Widow's Kiss. But James Barnes…the person that was the Winter Soldier, his words seem to pierce her like a barrage of arrows, as she stalls in making her getaway. «Don't feed me the lies they fed you…I know you, I learned from you, I got over so much pain thanks to you…and now…SHIELD is making up lies. And they broke you, comrade. I understand, clever ploy, force Black Widow to take out Winter Soldier. I say no.» She hesitates another moment, and then finds resolve, last words as she steps back to fall downwards are, «I'll find you, Winter Soldier.»

Kai tips off a jaunty salute to Black Widow and says, "Nice to meet you, hot redhead." His words are slurred, and he has a lopsided grin on his face. "See you later." He looks at Bucky, says, "I'm going to get something to drink. Then sit up, starts to pull himself out of bed, and faceplants into the shredded pillow. Fluff wafts in the air and settles, and he mumbles, muffled, "Or maybe I'll just have a nap."

There must've been something. For a beat or two, Bucky's just standing there, looking utterly forlorn, the knife in his hand forgotten. Then he straightens. "No, Kai. Pack up. We're going to Steve's house, right now. Leave a note for Loki." That tone brooks no argument.

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