1964-10-13 - Long Time No See
Summary: A first meeting between a pair of old soldiers.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
bucky eddie-blake 

Strolling through the hallways of SHIELD'S underground New York headquarters is Eddie Blake, in uniform but lacking the usual 'Zorro' mask since there's little pretense about secret identities within the organization. As per usual, he's got a self-amused grin plastered on his face, puffing calmly on a cigar with his right hand as he holds a manila file folder against his chest in the other.

On the front on the folder, some printing denoting out as a memo from the U.S. Department of Defense. Eddie seems to be looking for someone of note, humming some vague tune and making eyes at secretaries as he walks.. thus far, he's only spotted low level agents and bureaucrats. "This goddamn operation…" he grumbles as he chews the end of his cigar-smoke, "Too many useless bodies takin' up space.."

Blake's heard the news, over the last few months. Winter Soldier captured, Winter Soldier breaks out, Winter Soldier finally comes in from the cold of his own will and submits to varying levels of deprogramming and brain unwashing. Official status …..well, he's working *with* SHIELD, if not formally for. Sane, stable, but still vulnerable to his code words. That they exist is broad knowledge, what they actually are….that's reserved for only a few.

All in all, he's been playing ball, which is very good, considering the Russians seem to've made super soldiers of their own. At least one's been captured, but he's in the Triskelion for now.

Buck himself, the real deal, has been sparring with the agents here, so he's only in sweats and a tanktop and sneakers, coming in to the cafeteria for a drink. He looks…..not much older than he did in the pictures from the war. Certainly not the forty something he should be. His hair's way too long for a guy of the period, pulled back into a ponytail that reaches past his shoulders.

Blake, on the other hand, looks every day of his 40 years - despite the youthful, mischievous glint in his eye and his well-trained physique. The bane of turning down every test and serum offwred… Even so, he still spots the same hairstyle, the same smirk, the same moustache.

"Well, I'll be a son of a…" Blake trails off as he spots a familiar face down the corridor entering one of the staff eating areas. "I could spot that hair cut from f***in' Moscow…" The Winter Soldier himself. The man who caused the CIA and the Pentagon more trouble than ol' JFK himself… only this kid is still walking around.

One of the very few things Blake respects about SHIELD, other than their operating budget, is the fact that they won't turn down talent from any source. A friendship with Captain America himself probably doesn't hurt, either.

Not bothering to quicken his pace to catch Bucky before he enters the cafeteria, Blake instead raises his gruff, boisterous voice - his words echoing off the blank, subterranean walls of the compound. "HEY! If it ain't Bucky Barnes! Y'know, I read all about you in the papers!" Funny, coming from a WW2 vet himself - though more infamous for the rumoured war crimes than Steve and Bucky's storied exploits.

It's been ages since someone who wasn't Steve or Peggy addressed him like that. Bucky turns at the voice, and there's a wary neutrality in his face, that prisoner's deadpan that was Winter's habitual expression. Then he squints for a moment, and it relaxes into recognition. "Blake, I remember hearing about you," he says, far more pleasantly than the initial look would indicate. "Still alive and kicking." Despite some of Winter's best efforts, he does not add. "Still fighting the good fight?" Not quite smiling, but relaxed.

Blake pulls a visibly relieved face, obviously overacting as he chuckles to himself, strolling up to the man himself… he's seen plenty of photos of the man, old stock footage from the war and various Government files on assassinations… that one glimpse, that day in the park, with the diplomat he was assigned to protect…

He begins to close the distance between the two of them, puffing away and filling the air with obnoxiously cheap cigar smoke, something his colleagues are sure to appreciate. "I was half worried those were the code words from the KGB, and you were about to activate and put a bullet in my goddamn head," he says, obviously joking, "Nah, it's good to see you up close and personal, the Winter Soldier himself. Shit, you probably don't even remember me that day huh? Just another job for a mind-wiprd Soviet assassin.."

Neither the smoke nor the directness seems to bother him, at least at the moment. Buck's calm, as he fills a plastic cup with ice and water. "Nah, I'm my own man, now," he says calmly. "And I'm not the Soldier anymore, thank God." And the Devil, who's actually been far more help in the matter. Then there's something cool in his stare, not quite amusement. "No," he says, quietly. "I remember that day quite well. I remember all of them," His tone is light, but there's an odd weight behind it.

He clenches his cigar between his teeth to free up his right hand, which he uses to slap that metallic arm he's heard so much about, "Good news, I keep telling these young kids there's no replacement for experience, glad yer back up to speed. And don't worry, I ain't gonna hold no grudges. I've done my share too. Soldiers, civilians, whatever, right?" He says this all with the same amused tone and ironic smile he usually sports - as if such a thing were just a joke.

Leaning in just a bit closer and dropping his voice to just above a whisper, he continues, "My advice? Run with the gag. Sure as hell can't change it, no matter how much folks seem to think they can. I hope SHIELD ain't keeping you on too tight of a leash. Be a real shame to waste those skills."

After Hawkeye's little joke, Bucky reflexively looks down to be sure that Blake didn't just slap a magnet on him. He has it on the fridge in his apartment, as a reminder of sorts. "Good," he says, extending the right hand, the one still made of flesh and bone, to him. "I'm glad." And then he's leaning his head to attend to the whisper. He smells like soap and sweat and warm metal and oil. "No, the past can't be changed," he agrees, smoothly. "And….not too much so. 's why I'm here - I can hardly tend bar forever."

Eddie seems taken aback by that. "Tending bar? The Winter Soldier? The man who caused more slteepness nights in the US Government than insomnia? Shit, Dylan is right - the times really are changin'," he says, laughing at his own reference between puffs.

"Gotta tell ya kid, whatever they did to ya… seems to have chilled you out a bit. Or maybe it was just the rumours, but even I had to look over my shoulder for ya a few times back in the day," referencing the change between his old reputation and mellowed current self.

"You, ah," he gets more serious in tone, the smile disappearing, "you ever miss it? The killing? Having a purpose?"

He grins at that, and it's genuine enough, no mocking edge. "My hand to God, yeah. Nice joint near the Village, place called Lux. The manager's got a soft spot for veterans, I guess." Not even a fraction of the story, but it's the one he gives. He makes a little moue at the comment, spreading his hands and not quite shrugging. "I've had a lot of help unfucking what the Russians fucked up," is all his comment on that. The question makes him go serious, indeed, but there's no flinching or evident shame. "I do," he says, quietly. "I was a killer before I fell into Soviet hands, and I was good at it. The Russians made me better, even. SHIELD won't let me sit on the shelf forever." HE's matter of fact about it.

He chuckles at the comment about the bar, "Jesus Christ, well that must have been a sight to see…" the greatest Soviet superweapon of his era, serving beer and whiskey to customers, "I'll have to pop in for a drink myself."

As to the Soldier's other comment… "Well shit, I was worried for a second. Thought the boyscouts around here had taken yer claws out," He taps the DoD-stamped folder against his chest as if to emphasize it, "Fact is, I was looking for a ranking officer to hand this off to. Request for leave, temporary - you know how it is," he grins wider, "My country needs me? I come a-runnin'"

"The action is overseas right now, trust me… how's your Vietnamese? KGB teach ya that?"

"I've got some. And the place is hot. We've already been there once, and it's going to get worse before it's done." He needn't be a precog to see that war coming.

The comment about his claws makes his grin go lopsided, sharp. "No. Not yet, anyhow. And they'll call soon enough, I betcha. It's already looking pretty FUBAR, from what I can see of it." HE finally remembers his water glass, takes a slug from it.

"I heard about the little job SHIELD pulled over there… I was down in Cambodia with the Company myself. Anyway, I might have a proposition for you. Let me think about it a bit. Hey?" he pauses, pointing with a finger, "Don't be so serious, Bucky. Trust me, you'll live longer."

With that the loud, obnoxious voice and walls of cigar smoke are gone as he begins to walk back down the hall, on the search for someone with a high enough clearance to place the document with.

Once he's walked a reasonable distance, he glances back to make sure he wasn't followed, then mutters to himself, "Bucky fuckin' Barnes. Wow," he says, and then chuckles to himself as he continues to walk.

A ghost from the past, a relic from that war, somehow back in action. Bucky watches him, expression thoughtful. "I'd be happy to hear it," he says, gravely. And he even seems to mean it. Then, as Blake's turning to go, he grins. It's a ghost of that old incandescent smile from the newsreels, Steve's loyal sidekick….maybe a little unnerving, in that it doesn't seem to reach those blue eyes. "Vaya con dios, Blake," he says in farewell, before turning back to whatever he'd been intending in the canteen.

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