1964-09-04 - A Drink Between Enemies
Summary: Tony can't stay mad at a top notch piece of technology.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
bucky tony 

He's in the kitchen, at the moment, cleaning up after a meal. Dressed only in t-shirt and jeans - this is one of the few places he can safely display that arm. Buck's expression is abstracted, almost dreaming, as he dries the bowl he used.

Tony lets himself into the manor and heads towards the kitchen to prepare himself a liquid lunch. He he beelines toward the cupboard to take down the bottle and a tumbler.It takes him a moment to realize food the other occupant of the kitchen is. He takes a long hard look, then hauls off and punches him in the face.

It lands just as Bucky's glancing over inquiringly to see who's arrived - he drops the dish into the sink. Happily, being metal, it doesn't shatter, but clangs like a bell. The Soldier wasn't expecting it at all, that's clear, staggering back against the edge of the counter and nearly slipping to the floor. There's no sound of protest or pain from him, though. Trained not to cry out in any kind of extremity.

Tony looks like he might do it again, his fist clenched at his side. After if you call me breaths, the tension in his shoulders eases, and he goes back to pouring himself a drink. After a moment tossing back a swallow, he says, "There, that's better." He tops off his class.

Bucky levers himself back upright. There'll be a hell of a bruise at the side of his mouth. Tony gets that wolf's stare, but he doesn't move to attack. "What was that for?" he rasps, voice soft, a little slurred by the rising swelling. Without waiting for an answer, he's opening the freezer and getting out ice to twist up in a clean dishtowel.

Tony things against the counter, nursing the drink in his glass. "That was for Pepper," he says. "That's one hell of a hard had you've got." He shakes out his punching hand. Then he looks at Bucky. "What. You can't possibly find it hard to believe you deserved that."

Another moment of that cold stare, and then he's on Tony in an instant. He doesn't hit Stark, but he's got him in a hold, nose to nose. He smells like soap and warm metal. "Fair enough," he says, in a hiss. "But ask yourself….if we're handing out blows in defense of Pepper's honor, just what kind of a beating you deserve, Stark. I had the excuse of being a brainwashed Russian agent. You…..you were just an asshole."

Tony grits his teeth and says, "Mind the drink, pal." He fumbles for the counter, setting the glass down. Priorities. And that's really the problem, isn't it? "Maybe I was," Tony says, staring Bucky down without fear. There's a glint of humor in his eyes, and amused resignation. "But don't act like you get to be the knight in shining armor after what you did."

His eyes are a pale blue, faded compared to Steve's. They dart, searching Tony's face. "I don't pretend to," he says, taking a pace back, two. "Not at all."

Tony nods once. "Good." The hard look he gives Bucky doesn't speak of many plans to make friends, but at least the rampant violence has faded. He's not going to punch the Winter soldier again. Not unless something else provokes him. "For what it's worth, pal, I'm doing everything I can to make up for what I've done, not that I owe you that explanation."

Oh, the skeptical look Bucky gives him. Sure, you are, Tony. Just like every time before. He just shakes his head and turns away, resigned to Pepper's bad taste in men, perhaps.

Tony rolls his shoulders. That's right, look away. "I don't pretend like I haven't been the worst thing for her, okay?" He picks up his drink again and takes a sip. Then he shrugs Bucky off so he can pour a second glass, offering it to him. Punching a guy one moment, giving him whiskey the next. "This last time, I was in a bad place. Just like the last time. It's different, though. I spiraled too far down, and when you see your own dead end, it's one thing, but when you see it and kind of look forward to the fall, it's time to make some decisions."

He looks back, turns back, hesitates….but takes the glass. He even lifts it to Tony in mock salute, before knocking back half of it like a man dosing himself with medication. Even with the supersoldier metabolism, that's enoughto bring color to this cheeks. He nods at that, mutely.

Tony returns the nod and drinks in silence for a moment, just staring into the middle distance. Just sipping and gazing off. Then he tips a little more into each glass. "They tell me it wasn't you," he says, "that you've got some bogey man locked up inside you that had the reins."

Bucky's silent as Tony ponders. But when he speaks again, he nods at that. "The Winter Soldier," he says, and his voice is even rougher than before. "That's all he has for a name. The Russians found my body in the water in '45, after I died helping Steve destroy a German superweapon. I'd actually died from the cold, almost flash-frozen….so they revived me. But I had enough brain damage to have no memories, so they experimented on me." He lifts the metal hand, wiggles the fingers. "And then some genius realized they had a genuine American who could pass better than most Soviet agents….and while conscious memory was gone, I had sense memory for my old training with the Commandos. I woke up not knowing I even had a name, but I remembered how to kill."

Tony grimaces. "There's the long shot no one ever asked for," he says. "Did you ever get any memories back or is it a blank slate?" He frowns into his glass, but whatever's troubling him he keeps to himself. "I mean does any of it ever come back or is it just lost?"

"Some were brought back for me. More and more come back on their own, now. The programming is defused, contained. IT makes it easier for memories to show up. Sometimes something prompts it. I see something I knew and it makes me remember," His tone is thick, partially due to the swelling - he retrieves the icepack, settles it against his jaw again, closing his eyes. "It's good that I'm in New York, where I grew up."

If it helps any, Tony's fist is a bit swollen, too. He'll regret not icing it later. "Familiar sights and sounds," he says. He half-smiles, though it doesn't reach is eyes. "Tell you what, Mr. Hyde, you keep that monster under wraps, we can coexist just fine, but the moment I see even a glimmer of it…" He gives Bucky a hard stare, letting him figure out the rest.

He gives Tony an empty look, from under those dark lashes. "IF that happens in your presence and you don't have your suit on, you'll die," he states, matter of factly. "But most likely it won't ever. One of the psychics put it under control."

"Probably," Tony says, "but it won't be for lack of trying." He's quiet again, and again he tops off glasses. Then he says, "How do you come back from something like that? What even gets you going in the morning, when you've been a monster longer than you've been a man?"

The blue eyes go distant, vague. Has he answered that question before, even in his darkest heart? Buck's gazing down into the glass, which he's sipping from. "The kindness of others. Steve's forgiven me for murdering him, because Steven Rogers is a fucking saint. I've had others help me, work to keep me sane. It seems like a shitty thing to do, to just….reject all that."

"Some might say he's too ready to look for the good in someone," Tony says. He nods to himself. After a moment, he says, "Pepper keeps me sane right now. I hit this point where I couldn't trust my own judgment, and the only logical course is to listen to what she says." He adds wryly, "Don't let that get out."

"I'd agree with that someone," Bucky concurs. He's taken a seat at the kitchen table. Then he glances up again, lids still heavy. Blame the liquor. "You've finally learned," he says, drily.

Tony rolls his eyes and says, "I wouldn't put any money on that just yet. I just haven't hit the point where I panic and run." He pulls a face. "Why am I telling you this? Ugh, I need to make more friends, then fail to confide in them."

Buck lifts his glass a little. "Because you don't care what I think," he offers, easily. "We can speak man to man. Or, more precisely, asshole to asshole." He takes another swig of the booze. Definitely pinker now. He looks less ghostly.

Tony says, "There's that." He snorts when Buck says 'asshole to asshole.' "She's better than anyone deserves," he says. "In a way, the pressure isn't quite so bad because it's on for anyone. I don't know. Maybe if I find myself slipping, I'll come punch you again. With any luck, you'll hit me back."

"At least you understand that, now," Bucky's let his eyes close. And for a moment, he looks almost serene. "And no, you got a freebie. You don't get to hit me again."

Tony shrugs a shoulder and says, "We'll see." Nothing to stop him taking a swing at Bucky and, after all, that's the point of an outlet for self-destruction. "It's not like you gave me that freebie," he says between sips. "I took it."

"YOu surprised me. You won't again," he asserts, with that obnoxious calm. He finishes his drink, sets aside the empty glass, and looks up at Tony again.

"Mmm." Tony finishes his glass, pours the last of the bottle into Bucky's, and says, "Good luck on staying sane. I don't know how much stock I put in woo-woo powers like psychics, but I guess we'll see. I'm thinking of getting into brain wave disrupters or something similar. There might be something promising there. You know, just in case."

He lifts the glass again, in thanks. "Thank you," he says, with just the faintest edge of something to his tone. "You might well end up doing me some favors." He sounds speculative about it.

"Yeah, well, don't let that get around," Tony says. He claps Bucky on the shoulder without thinking about it, and he goes to take his own empty glass to the sink. Wash it? Ha. Don't they have someone for that? He's bringing it to the sink, isn't he? "Everyone will start wanting stuff. Which reminds me, I want to take a look at that arm sometime."

Of course it's the metal arm - carefully contoured, but unyielding, and so cold. "Sure," he says, obligingly. "I imagine it'll seem crude to you, but….you're welcome to."

Yes. Crude. Tony's expression is so very bland. "Still, it's a neat little trinket. I wouldn't mind seeing how Mother Russia came up with something like that, what kind of bells and whistles you've got." The Soviets are why he's got a piece of jagged metal trying to bore its way into his heart, held back by a magnet in his chest. The bitter twist of his lips is all it takes to show he's not a fan.

"Now?" he asks, simply. "I have the time. I know you've got all kinds of things down in that lab."

Tony shrugs and says, "Sure, if you're not busy." Like eh, it's no big deal. For him to finally crack into that thing and go through it like a trash panda through a dumpster. "Whenever works for you. I'm generally down in the lab when I'm here."

Maybe it's liquor leading to bad judgement. But Buck rises, sets the glass carefully in the sink as well, and then gestures for Tony to lead the way. He deliberately doesn't go exploring down below the kitchenn.

Tony leads the way, a little tipsy himself and not letting that stop him from drawing the living subject down to his lair. It's pretty impressive down here, too. The lab still doesn't have all the bells and whistles he wants, but it's slowly filling up with state of the art stuff, some stuff finer even than his own company uses. Some of it experimental, but it's not mad science if the scientist really is that brilliant. He kicks out a rolling stool and says, "Have a seat and take off your shirt."

The booze is definitely helping with his shyness, if it can be so called, when it comes to the arm. Bucky peels off his t-shirt without hesitation, folds it neatly, sets it aside, and sits. Surprisingly scarless, save for the proud flesh around the graft. The arm itself gleams softly in the lab's light. He lets his head hang a little, hair loose and forward, rather than obscuring some of the seam on his back.

Tony flicks a fluorescent lamp on and swivels the head around to shine down on Bucky's arm all the more brightly. Maybe it's psychological warfare to remain standing above him, or maybe that's the better angle for now. He feels along the metallic 'muscle' of the arm. "Do you feel it? Are there synthetic nerves?"

"Yes," he says. "It's not….that's one of the parts where it really falls short. But there is sensation. Pressure, temperature, and…distress. It's not really pain, but….it feels wrong when it's damaged." His head's still down - the speech is addressed more to his boots than to Tony.

Tony is quick to break out the tools, in this case a super-fine flathead screwdriver so he can poke and pry lightly at the plates making up the contour of the arm. He's got a deft, delicate touch, despite whatever affect the alcohol might be having on him. Hell, maybe it's what's steadying his hand. "How does 'wrong' feel?" he asks. "Numbness or tingling? Pressure? Or is it that you notice the shift in you center of gravity? This thing's heavy."

"I can't describe it," he says, brow furrowing. "Staticky? Kind of like tingling. If it's the outside of it. Internal stuff….when it gets to the fake nerves, that's more like pain. It hasn't been seriously worked on in a while. My center of gravity's always off, yeah. My brain never really gets used to it." Which explains that funny almost-swagger he has when he walks.

|ROLL| Tony +rolls 1d20 for: 15

Tony nods curtly, filing that tidbit away. He kicks out another wheeling stool and drops onto it so he can get a parallel view, and he handles Bucky like he were equipment, holding up the arm, testing points of articulation. "These fit together absurdly well, but even on something this advanced, there's lots of places for crud to get in here," he says. "Crud means malfunctions. You'll have to get it serviced or it's eventually going to get harder to operate." He messes with the arm some more and says, "There we are. These come off." He removes plates off one side. "We might be able to reverse engineer how they kept you tip top."

"I hope so," he says, softly. No objections from him, either in the initial handling nor the removal of plates. The internal workings….the craftsmanship is all Soviet brute force, but there's a kind of efficient elegance to it, the design clear. It's meant to be idiot proof - apparently the original engineer did not trust the recipient to understand what he was given. "Yeah," he says. And then there's a little bit of humorless laughter. "If the Germans'd built it, I'd have to do maintenance every other day."

Tony huffs a breath of laughter. "Pal, my dad could tell you stories." It's a sentiment of agreement. "I would not be surprised if they tried to steal some of his designs for this, not that the old man was doing any work like this that I know of, but…" But his father was one of the greatest scientific minds of his era and the Soviets have sticky fingers. "I'm not going to poke and prod too much at these today. I'll want to mock up a decent set of schematics before I go digging around."

"That's fine," he says. And then he notes, with the faintest hint of amusement, "Your dad has. He used to bitch incessantly about the finickiness of German tech. I remember that." He tosses his head, gets enough hair out of his face to eye Tony like some kind of shaggy horse peeking through his forelock. "That's fine. I need a new engineer, and the Russians sure as hell aren't going to cough up anything on this."

Tony cleans off the plates he's removed, and he starts to reassemble them in reverse order to how he took them off, with a deft and skilled hand. Whatever else one can say about Tony Stark, he's his father's son in good ways, too. "They won't need to," he says. "We'll get this." He pauses, then adds, "Dad never did forgive the Germans, but I don't know if it was for the War or the bad design."

"I imagine it was both," Bucky offers, more softly. "I think he was angry as hell about the time and effort he had to spend countering German tech wen he wanted to be making flying cars." He remembers the exhbition, still. "And thanks," he adds, gruffly.

Tony sounds half-distracted as he fiddles with the plates, screwing them all back into place and testing the articulation to make sure he's done it right. He needn't have bothered. Of course it's right. "He never got his flying car, but we'll see about it yet." The gruffness get a grunt. He wheels away and puts tosses the screwdriver on the table. "Come back and we'll get those schematics. Then we'll see about how to keep you tuned up."

He gives his arm a flex and roll, the plates all hissing over each other, the internal servos falling into the proper rhythm. "Sounds good," he says, brushing his hair back, straightening a little.

Tony raps lightly on the arm. "Yes, it does." He gets to his feet. "Now scram, I've got some stuff to work on." He goes over to another bench and picks through random pieces of this and that, some of it recognizable like a tool and some of it a mysterious do-dad he's in some stage of creating with. "Trying to keep these guys alive and looking good."

Buck slips back into his shirt, ties his hair back….and then he's clattering back up the stairs. Presumably to find more of that booze….or maybe to take a nap.

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