1964-09-08 - Cup of Bitter Russian Loathing
Summary: Clint stops by to torment Bucky. The usual.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
bucky clint 

SHIELD HQ does have a cafeteria. And the original, genuine James. B. Barnes is there, brewing up tea in a kettle on an electric hotplate. He's in civilian clothes - t-shirt, jeans, workshirt, looking a little annoyed as he waits for the water to boil. Just lounging on one of the plastic chairs.

There might be some kind of betting pool somewhere as to who can annoy THE Bucky Barnes the most times without getting shot. Clint will take that bet!

"Hey, man," voice before presensenot that Bucky can't tell well within earshot when someone's coming up on himClint strides up to the counter the kettle sits and does one more, clapping the cyborg on his metallic appendage, just above the elbow, as he spins around, leaning back against the counter where the kettle bubbles. Arms folding loosely over his chest, facing Bucky. A toothpick stuck between his lips, chewing on it idly.

Yeah, you think you're super slick don't you, Barton? The guy stuck a tiny magnet on Bucky's arm, or tries to, just to see if it works. It's a banana, for what it's worth.

Whatever alloy that thing is made of, it's got enough ferrous material to stick a magnet to. "Hey," Bucky says, amiably. It takes him a good few beats to furrow his brow, and then reach over with the hand made out of flesh and pluck the magnet off. "Very funny," he says, but he's taken no real offense there. In fact, there's a tiny grin curling the corners of mouth. HE offers the magnet back, on his palm.

Clint plays the innocent game way too well, barely a flicker of his mouth while he watches Bucky catch wise to the added bit of fashion to his person, his stormy gaze does dance briefly when Bucky plucks the banana off and hands it back to Clint.

He holds a hand out, then cut the completely agast face. The shock! The betrayal! Rolling the magnet around in his fingers, he glances over Bucky's shoulder and shouts at a bunch of low-level agents and one trainee that are eating a late dinner at the nearest table. "Did one of you do this? Come on! We're /professionals/ here! I don't know what two bit hack company that you came from, but here at SHIELD we have certain expectations! Jeeze…"

They look completely lost at Clint, then back between one another, talking amongst themselves and confused before shrugging and turning back to their food.

Clint cracks a crooked smile at Bucky, slick and ridiculous. "Sorry about that, man. Kids, you know?"

Buck just levels a look at him. "Pull the other one, it has bells on," he informs the archer, voice dry as Utah. "But well done. I'll have to remember that." It'll teach him to let his g uard down where Clint's concerned. The amusement's still there, though, in the lines around his eyes. The kettle whistles, and he heaves himself up to set the tea to brewing in paper cups. The bag he's scooping from has printing only in Cyrillic, it seems.

It's a show of either lack of personal safety concerns or stupidity that Clint can stare right back at the soldier's pale regard without looking too terribly concerned. Rolling the banana magnet around in his fingers, the wise-ass archer allows one of his brows to twitch, "Pull the other arm or the other," he holds up the little yellow magnet between his fingers, within Bucky's eyeline and smirks dryly. "Banana?" Amused by his own wordplay and holding the gaze until Bucky gets up to fetch his whistling kettle. Clint chortles to himself, looks at the magnet and tosses it up, catching it in his palm and shoving it into his pocket.

He snorts laughter. "Fair enough, you got me," he concedes, shaking his head, as if he really were that much older than the archer. Then he holds out his hand for the banana, expectantly. "I'll take it," A beat, and he adds, "As a reminder, if that's okay."

Clint's mouth twitches upward at the corners, hearing Bucky laugh. Hey, that had to be some kind of achievement, there. At least from outside perceptions. The archer's stormy gaze churns with amusement, like dark clouds in the sky, not sure if they're ready to unleash hell yet or not.

A quick smart alec pop upward of his brows and a sly smile when Bucky requests the magnet back, Clint pulls his hand back from his pocket and gives the little bobble a glance over, then smirks and lifts his attention back to Buck. Effortlessly confident, as seems to be his default setting, the dirty-blond fellow presses the magnet into the center of Bucky's palm, but holds onto it. "Reminder of what, Buck?"

"Not to underestimate you," he says, almost sweetly. He's got that full grin on, just about incandescent. The metal fingers curl around Clint's hand, oh so gently, no intimations of force. The blue eyes are warm, good-natured, no hint of his imprisoned passenger. He makes no real move to force the magnet from the agent's hand - waiting for Clint to relinquish it, if he chooses.

Metallic digits wrap around his hand, Clint doesn't seem terribly unsettled by the possibility of compression that could come so easy from that false limb. He sorta needs that hand.

"Oh," Barton responds, smooth as whipped butter, flashing a smile to match. "But what's the fun in /that/?" Holding onto that magnet for an elongated moment, feeling the slight pull from the goofy little fruit between his fingers to stick to the palm it hovers over. "What's the fun without a few surprises?"

"Depends on the surprises," Bucky assents, tone almost as breezy. Surely he's not flirting with Clint. Clint's married, after all. His hand shifts, spreading just a little with that almost chime of sound.

Clint cocks his head faintly to one side, assenting to Bucky's take on the matter, though he /still/ holds that small bobble in his fingers without relinquishing it entirely. As if somehow by holding onto it, it would keep the metallically grafted assassin near so long as he didn't give the object up. Hell of a magnet, Clint.

"You're not wrong. Just about any surprise can be a pretty welcome one if you spin it right." Clint's crooked smile remains fixed to his features. Yeah. Absolutely not flirting. He's married! That would be ludicrous. Why the hell would a man who has told absolutely nobody that he's married and estranged from his spouse flirt at living danger on two legs? Pfft. "Like most everything else around here, it's all about the angle, Buck."

It's working. Because Bucky's still there, after all. The air is filled with the rich, harsh scent of the tea in the paper cups. "Fair enough," he concedes. His own smile fades, but….his expression is still benign. "And I'd agree. You're quite the marksman with a bow, I hear."

"I know my way around an arrow," Clint remarks with flawless false modesty while he keeps Bucky from his tea. He's just making sure it steeps properly, that's all. Zero insinuation there. Yep. "I'm pretty sure I could take you on without embarassing myself, mano-a-mano." Those gray-blue eyes flick momentarily, jumping from prolonged eye contact with Barnes down the front of the ghost, assessing—well, it was probably intended to be assessing but damn if it didn't look for a split second as if he were stripping him down.

His gaze jumps back to Buck's. "What do you say sometime, Barnes? Or you feeling…/rusty/?" Click! He drops the magnet into Bucky's palm.

He laughs at that - it transforms his face, from the image of that wary ghost into the young man seen at Steve's side throughout the war. "Sure. You'll kick my ass, I'm sure," he says. "I mean, I've been trained with the bow, but not to the level you have. But why not?" He curls his fingers around the magnet, vanishes it into the pocket. He doesn't seem to have noticed that looking over….or not registered it, anyhow.

The easy bloom of laughter that flourishes smoothly over Bucky's face results in a malleable shift of Clint's crooked smile from one side of his mouth to the other. "C'mon, I want a challenge," Clint wraps his freed arm back over his chest, hands tucked out of sight. "I'd still let you use a firearm." He flashes a quick wink at the soldier. "Head on down to the range and see what trouble we can drum up. What could go wrong?"

"After I've had tea," he says, simply. "I've had a craving for this awful stuff I drank in Russia. Want some?" He jerks his head at the paper cups. "Should be ready about now…"

"I presumed that's why you made two," Clint shrugs a shoulder. " 'Hey, you want something terrible?' Yeah, sure, Buck. Sounds great. That's right on par with 'this smells awful! Here, take a whiff.'" Clint points out, full of sass and easy-going humor as he turns back to the cups, eyeballing the pair and taking the less full of the two. "How'd you get hold of it?"

He hesitates a beat. "It's okay, if you pile sugar into it," The second tea was intended for the prisoner, perhaps. "Oh, there's a shop out in Little Odessa that sells it - a friend told me about it." He hands it off, along with a fistful of sugar packets. For himself….he just keeps the one, dosing it with care.

Clint watches Bucky lightly season his tea with sugar, eyeing the bucketload that he is handed off, one hand full of sugar packets, the other hand holding a paper cup of hot tea. Huh. Arching a cynical brow toward Barnes, Clint sets the up back down on the counter along with the handful of sugar and selects only one to tear up and pour into the bottom of the cup, stirring with a wooden stick.

"Rogers or have you picked up a new slew of pals now that you're not running every free minute of your day?" Letting the single packet dissolve before he tries his luck.

Even with that spoonful of sugar, the tea is eyewateringly strong and as bitter as old regret. Harsh and smoky, like it was dried over a campfire. "Newer friend," he clarifies, blandly. "Not Rogers." How can he explain Rogue and that bizarre bond? He can't. Not easily, anyhow. Buck sips from the tea with every evidence of contentment, though it has to be like drinking refined rocket fuel.

Clint waits for the sugar to dissolve and takes a drink, choking on the first sip very briefly, the fellah chokes it down none the less, eyeballing his cup suspiciously after the fact. "Je-zus. I don't know what I was expecting from a cold, dry, harsh country but /damn/. I've accidentally drank plane fuel before and it wasn't that bad." Says the man who drinks coffee black and by the barrel. Clint returns to the rest of those sugar packets and tears them open, three at a time and pours them into the cup. Scowling at his drink, there's a couple glances toward the content Bucky, twisting a corner of Clint's mouth upward wryly. "Well, looks like one of us are happy at least. Did they amputate your taste buds while you were over there too, Buck?" Clint teases calously.

Buck sticks out his tongue, for a moment, as if to display them….or their lack. "Burned 'em right off," he says, blithely. "I'm hoping to bribe our prisoner with this. It's what they gave me, I figure he's got the taste for it." He's not playing macho with it just to one up Clint - he genuinely seems to like it.

Clint may play a lot of 'chicken' over a lot of stupid things, but he doesn't fuck around when it comes to hot beverages. Machismo is better spent absolutely-not-flirting and challenging sharp shooters to the range. Smirking at the tongue, his brows arch up and mouth opens in a silent 'ah' of enlightenment.

"Not a bad tactic. Give them something familiar to bond over. Shit, who thought you'd be playing the good cop routine, eh?"

"It's not so much that - he doesn't really believe I'm an American. He seems to think I'm one of them that'sbeen taken and turned," Bucky says, softly. "Which….I should show him my SSR file. I bet it's in the SHIELD archives. Reminds me - I had a visitor from my past, not long ago. A female Russian agent, code name Black Widow, real name Natalia Romanova. AKA Natasha Romanoff. She busted in on the apartment I was staying in, confused my sleeping host for me, for a moment. She thinks the same thing - that the Winter Soldier is all I am, and that James Barnes is the product of SHIELD brainwashing." He pulls a wry face at that.

Clint finishes ruining that cup of tea and stirs it in, splaying his fingers over the mouth of the little paper cup on the counter, the cup adding its own subtle soggy pulpy smell to the caustic brew. "Huh, ironic. Where the hell do they think that the Winter Soldier came from? It's good to know that their agents are just as in the dark as we are sometimes," Barton comments dryly as he takes another sip from the cup and looks at it like it just insulted his mother. "You think it's a good idea to give them allthe information about your past? Sounds like it'd give them a lot of possible leverage just to…what? Prove to a couple Russian operatives that you're you?"

"The Russians know my past," Buck says, simply. "I bet you ten bucks there's a copy of my SSR file in Siberia. Along with my dog tags. They don't know. They don't question. It's some serious Camazotz stuff there - they don't let you even hint at a doubt. All I can do is show them the truth. If I'm James Barnes and not just Winter Soldier #1, maybe wwe can put a crack in that wall."

"That's what I'm saying, man— Russia's overhead has to know, it wasn't like you were a low key guy. Okay, more low key than Rogers, but not by much," Clint lids his eyes at Bucky. "But you want to expose yourself to try to prove to them that they've been lied to? Of course they've been lied to. Shit, /I've/ been lied to. Anyone who thinks their superiors don't lie to them is" Is what? A brainwashed suit not allowed to think for themself? Yeah welcome to Russia. Barton cuts himself short and rolls his eyes over the direction of his own thought pattern and the direction it's going. Tone drops flat. "yeah okay, I get it." He presses his lips together flatly and lifts his cup with a toasting gesture. "Still. It's a steep gamble. What's to stop them from calling it a lie? Paper lies, man."

HE spreads his hands. "They probably will. What I wish I could really get are the files on me in Russia," he says, softly. "The whole chain, from my first death to here. The Russians know what they know. The other Soldiers…..they don't know a goddamned thing. They're barely more than dumb animals, like attack dogs. The Widows….they're smarter. More independence, more critical thinking. Natasha was my prize student," He sets his cup aside hastily, as his fingers clench. "I want to turn her."

Hey, let it not be said that Bucky doesn't have passion on his side. Clint's blond brows actually twitch together for a moment of betrayed emotion beyond the scraped surface of that cocky outward apperance. He takes a critical approach to it, listening hard to Buck, gaze following his body language, flitting back and forth busily without his Douchebag Sunglasses (tm) to obstruct. "Do you know that you can?" Not the phrase often used. No 'thinking' about it. Does he /know/ it.

"I don't know," he says, without hesitation. "I'm not trained in interrogation or that kind of spycraft. I was an assassin, but not really a spy. But…." There's a beat, two. "She has a soft spot for me. I…don't think we were lovers. Not physically. I don't want to kill her, though. I don't."

"Well, then you better know that you can, my friend," Clint advises, taking a very liberal use of the word 'friend' perhaps. He doesn't try to change the man's mind, or judge him in any fashion. Of all the people on planet earth, Clint has absolutely zero room to judge and don't he know it. "Interrogation is just knowing how to break past someone's walls. She was your prize student, you can't tell me that you don't have some tricks you can use. You have to know her—especially if you two were," Clint physically nudge, nudges Bucky's right arm, wink-winks at him as well. "Close."

HE snorts. "I don't know that we were. But….she wanted to. I musta, back when." And doesn't now? They must've burned out more than his t astebuds, clearly. He picks up the tea, takes a swig. As if it were good. And coffee.

"Uh huh. Back when." Clint comments mundanely, staring at Barnes for an elongated moment as he takes a drink of that godawful slew. Prompting him to do the same, there's a terrible glance back down at the cup, as if it has grievously offended his dog, once more. Damnit, he keeps forgetting what he's drinking. "Well, if she wanted to, that's your in. It's manipulative, but so's 90 percent of what we do here. If you need backup, you know where I'm at. If she's half as smart as you say she is, she's gotta see the writing on the wall eventually."

"I hope so," Bucky's voice is bleak. "I hope so." Then he finishes off the tea in one long swallow, tosses the cup. Matve will have to wait for his cuppa. "Now, to the range?"

"Hope's important," Clint advises and eyes his Cup of Betrayal, sliding it onto the counter again and ignoring it. Abandoning it. Orphan tea. "So's ability and results, though. Keep hope alive, but be smart about it, man. That's my advice. Not that I ever listen to my own advice." Clint smiles and flashes a wink at Bucky. "I have a brief I have to go to. Range tonight? I'll spank you down on the range a little bit and make you feel like a kid again?" Cocky little shit, but good-natured about it, there's no malice while Clint makes arrangements.

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