1964-09-02 - Interrogation Games
Summary: Questioning yourself is never an easy thing.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
wanda bucky 


Day 17. SHIELD dungeon.

Dear Diary,
Am v. bored. Gruel awful. Capitalist pigs attempt to sway person. Not happening. Am remembering joys of E. German tumbling team and most v. faithful gun. Will be best. Impressed guards by doing 201 pushups in a row.
- Me

Things don't change much around here. He's not an impatient man by any stretch of the imagination. Unless pinned down in a chair, he kickboxes, does pushups, curl-ups, and endless rounds of jogging in his little cell. He practices squats and shadow-boxes. He pushes himself to fatigue and crashes into his bed for dreamless sleep. He is a model prisoner, at least in the sense he's incredibly boring and predictable. Routine is the function by which he breaks down the day. By which he simply is.

They haven't let him back. Not in direct contact, since that first meeting. But now here's the American one, who somehow manages to be both the original and the factory seconds. Hence the metal arm. Bucky's dressed in plain civilian clothes, this time, jeans and a t-shirt. He's brought plain new clothes, simple stuff, since they're presumably just about the same size: it's currently being inspected, as if he might've hidden a file in the boxers' inseam. What he has been cleared to bring in is chocolate. Surely that constitutes the best possible peace offering? They let him in without binding the prisoner, or insisting on any other agent in the cell, though surely they're being recorded. "Hey," he says, simply.

Whatever they have him wear, he wears it. Fed, he eats it. Offer… well, he doesn't read English that he knows or lets on, so books are out. It's really a guinea pig situation for the second, and the only request he ever makes is a razor to stay clean shaven. He doesn't like beards or shaggy business. Another hour, another day. Crunches, now, one, two, thirteen. Four sets of thirteen reps, rest, begin again. The floor is fine for him. His hands bracket his ears while he stares at a fixed point that's nowhere, really. What is this peace offering they provide, this man that is him and is not? He's not exactly rude, but keeps rising up, tensing, reclining. "Hey."

That wall of impassivity. He's deployed it to such good effect himself…..and now, greeted with the new, improved version, finds himself as frustrated as any run of the mill SHIELD agent. Bucky settles down, cross-legged, holds up the chocolate mutely. Maybe the 2.0s are trained to dislike sugar - did they eliminate the epic sweet tooth growing up in the Depression gave him? He watches for the moment, offering nothing beyond the greeting for now.

The wall of simple blankness. He keeps flexing his abdominal muscles, the heat not a full burn at this point. It feels familiar, not altogether bad. His shirt ripples and curls with each movement as he leans back, scapula touching the cold floor. Up again. He looks back, those pale eyes tracking across almost his own face. Almost.

«What do you want?» he asks, softly. If they're going to have this conversation with the new one working out….anything to keep from resorting to those words. He could. HE's got them now, his gift to use or give, a double-edged weapon fit only for those hands he trusts. Rogue needs them. Kai does, too. Steve has them already, his first and oldest friend. And now SHIELD,too, for those clever enough to find them in the records.

What does he want? It's an excellent question. Want is a transitory thing, really, a culpable equation of short-term requirements and distractions. «Deodorant.» It's a reasonable request. Practical. Something to count off the options to. Ten, eleven. Twelve. Correcction, plant feet slightly further apart. Up: flex. Back, exhale. «Why?»

Was he this infuriating? Surely more, for so many of his interlocutors had some memory of James Barnes, and what he used to be like. «That I can get. I'm trying to figure out what to do with you,» he says, simply. «I meant….more long term. And….did you ever interact with any of the women from the Widow program?»

The sweat is beading on his forehead and his cheeks are reddening, but nothing he hasn't done for fifteen days before. Routine is routine. He'll be slow answering his prototype asking questions, but there isn't any sense of direct hostility. There simply isn't room for more than a complete, flat look devoid of a defining spark. A blink or two every few seconds passes. «No.»

He sets the chocolate down, to the side, a forgotten offering. «What's your earliest memory?» This guy's no kind of talker, but at least he's not shown any direct anger or flat out refusal….nor has he attacked.

Chocolate is something to be checked, noted. Not a weapon, not labeled with a skull and crossbones. Not a cigarette. This makes it relatively safe. The vaguely distrustful look at Bucky's question follows. «Trees.» Well, not exciting but valid.

«Tell me about it,» Bucky requests, softly. A plea, rather than an order. «Tell me about your life.» There's a terrible, peculiar moment of loneliness. Of being the white crow in the flock, some part of his programming responding like crystal resonating to a played note. Things he should remember, experiences held in common that he doesn't have because he's James Barnes.

«Rural. Cold. The stillness of the forest.» These are not things he parts with easily, still doing his situps patiently one after the other. He'll rest later. Rest is when the mind fixates on the emptiness of self. «The clean air that ccut. Burned, so pure. Smoke on the air. Good smells. Not like here. You put up with it. This is not your place. Why?»

«Here, this prison? No, it's not mine.» He remembers it - air so cold breathing aches, the scents of the taiga, conifers, an absence of other smells that sings, the way utter silence conjures up hallucinations of sound. «My place is Brooklyn. It's part of the city….we're technically in it, now. Butthis isn't what it's like.» A wry twist comes to his lips. «Matvei, you'd hate it. So many people, so many languages spoken. It's never silent, and the air is crowded with scents. More kinds of food than you can imagine, exhaust, smoke, trees, flowers, people…»

«And Moskova is any different? People everywhere. Sounds. Buildings against the sky. No trees, only thin walls, not enough apartments.» Always that, always the problem. His shoulders twitch and he reclines, shoulders on the bed. Not much space, his chest heaves and feet twitch. «Railcars shuddering. The choirs. Hot, dark tea. The best of bread and ah, the Kremlin. They say Leningrad is the same. We know it is not Moskova.»

«So you do know Moskva,» he says, softly. «Leningrad….yes. It has too many traces of the Imperial past,» This is beguiling, somehow. To try and integrate Winter's memories - to lay claim to them, accept them, as his body has accepted the metal graft. «There's a place here that sells proper tea. I'll bring you some.»

«It is not right you do that.» He doesn't ask or bend to its need, its making. However much a nice cuppa might do, Number Two (or Thirty-Three or Six) will not accept freely. The walls go up defensively when Bucky suggests it. «They want something. You want something.»

«Everyone wants something,» Bucky allows, without hesitation. It's a sensation like muscles stretching. Thinking in Russian, speaking it, the subtle change of perspective, the concepts once sharp gone fuzzy, and vice versa. Seductive, dangerous, the native language of his possessing demon. «What do you think I want?»

How about 'your arm back?' Life back? Too easy.

No smile spreads on those thin lips. He's as a mirror with self-volition, the means to twist the reflection out of true appearance by a nudge here, a minor alteration there. Disturbing, isn't it? «A cause.» There is no answer other than that. It's the only answer.

«I have one,» he retorts, easily. «And I can get you tea, as well as deodorant, if I want. I can't stand being dirty unless I absolutely have to. You're my brother, after all."

«No prisoner wants to be filthy.» It's true. He really would rather not, trying to avoid sweat staining his sheets or ruining his clothes. There is no malice, no contrition, no amount of anything out of him other than the expected upnod of understanding.

«But many are debased enough to not care if they are.» He remembers that, the first, dimmest memories of a crippled animal in a cell. «I was, when they first had me.» HE's matter of fact about it.

Him. Them. Broad enough to be anyone. The soldier stares with those empty, cool eyes in shadows wide enough to swallow trains, his head tipped alertly. Maybe some wheeze of a droning fan awakens his concern. He takes his moments slowly, step by step.

He should be afraid - this one has to be as deadly as he is. More, for there's no other personality to confuse things, to slow reflexes or make him hesitate. Bucky just looks up at him, mutely. His hair's loose, down past his shoulders now - as if the younger brother could use that rubberband as a potential weapon. «How many of us are there?»

«I don't know.» Simple answer, stretched out over a long, fraught silence. It's all he can offer. His body is still, anticipating a blow of some kind. Maybe welcoming it. Certainly he doesn't seem to care overly so.

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