1964-10-30 - The Next Mission in the Family
Summary: Sharon comes to SHIELD to finish her physical, meets up with Bucky in the gym. He reveals some important, personal secrets that SHIELD is holding in the basement.
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Theme Song: None
sharon bucky 

He's a real SHIELD agent now - Peggy's stamp of approval, even. Low clearance, only Level 4, barely above the guy who maintains the plumbing, but…good enough.

The Triskelion has a gym, of course it does. So he's down to singlet and sweat pants, hair tied up in a low knot, working a heavy bag unmercifully with both fists and feet. It's only a little past the warm up, since he doesn't yet have the look of someone really exerting himself.

Part of returning as an Agent of SHIELD is all the physical tests. Of course, Sharon can pass them all. She passes them with flying colors, over all, though the booze has slowed her down a bit. Nothing to bench her. She's been down in and out of the gyms all afternoon with a vague series of physicians pushing her harder and harder as they could, trying to find her breaking point. Finally, they all seem content and she's been let to go. She's sweaty, sore, half exhausted, so what does she do? Go into the gym. It'd be nice to do some work on her own. She pauses as she sees who is at the bag, stopping to just watch a few heartbeats.

If he's aware of her, it doesn't show. Not for that first part, anyhow. There's that weird, fluid, catch as catch can style - a little bit of the Spetnaz, some relics of old American commando training, but all of it with that brutal directness that's entirely Soviet….though there's still an odd grace behind it all. He doesn't fight like Steve, not anymore. His face, however, entirely lacks that eager light. Calm, removed, even, as if his mind were a million miles away and reflex the real driver.

Quietly, Sharon steps up a few paces closer, watching him for a heartbeat or two longer. Then she moves to the bag enxt to him and starts… Copying him? Not so much, but close. She's trying to keep his pace, his speed, see if she can learn his grace just by watching and following along. It's like a dance at two different punching bags, both of them going through these fluid moments, trying to keep time with one an other. But it's a test for her as much as anything.

The mirror dance. And within moments, he's slowing and exaggerating his movements, making the subtleties clearer. Teaching mode - how many deadly little Widows are there out there now, carrying his instructions in their perfectly groomed heads? Enough. Keeping an eye on her, and there's an approving hint of a smile at the corners of his eyes.

But she's not a widow and she's not little. Sharon is a grown woman with her own style — a style that didn't beat him, but kept her ALIVE despite his best efforts — so this is more so a dance of once-almost-equals just learning each other's craft. She is curious. She wants to push herself. So, she falls into it, naturally following him and getting it a bit easier, faster, as he slows his motions and exaggerates more. She picks up fast, no shock that her body is primed for this kind of work, but he's also a good teacher. SOon enough, even her breath is mirroring his.

Which is when he stands down, stilling the swaying bag by an application of a metal palm. The approving smile is there in earnest, now. "Good," he says, cheerfully. "Booze hasn't gotten to you, yet." Tact, thy name is not Bucky. "Looks like we can keep it from doing so." There's a faint sheen of sweat on his brow, but he doesn't seem really winded.

A slight roll comes from her eyes as they stop and he says that. Sharon just smirks, grabbing at the towel around her neck and dabbing at her own face, mainly sweating from the previous physical tests, not the bag, but she's been sweating all day. "I didn't drink that much… or that long, and I kept fit. I wanted to forget a few things, not die… If I let the booze slow me down, sure as hell would have been killed already."

An upnod from him. "Yeah," he says, easily. "It'll do that." As he said - it's when the CIA agents get worn and slack that it's easy for the Soldier to get 'em. He's bright-eyed, approving. "When you're up to speed, I need your help. Where are you in the process of being integrated?"

"Just had to pass all the physicals, I assume I cleared considering I kicked the ass of most of those tests and they were just bored by the end of the day. Finish the background check… then probably in a few weeks. Still gotta give my two weeks at the CIA. Won't do to just walk out, I'm not an asshole like that." Sharon admits with a half shrug, even if there is something quietly dreading it behind her voice. However, his question of her help does get an intrigued look, "…but…what's the case?"

"I'll show you," he says, more quietly. "Let me clean up and I'll be with you." He ducks into the mens' locker room, re-emerges showered and dressed in standard fatigues and boots.

When they're both cleaned up and presentable, he leads the way down to one of the halls that contains holding cells. Mostly empty, but at the far end, one is occupied. By the flicker on the transparent panel, a nearly invisible rippling of blue light along a grid, it's set to one-way visibility. They can see in, but the occupant can't see out.

Which occupant proves to be…..another Bucky. Not exactly. No metal arm, his hair is growing out of a military crop, and there's a lack of wear on his face that makes him seem a good deal younger than the original. He's sitting on a camp bed, dressed in insignialess fatigues of his own.

"I should…" She lifts her arm a moment and just winces, "Yeah. I should as well. Meet you back here in 15." And then Sharon is disappearing to the women's locker room with the slow, slightly sore steps of someone who has been put through her paces and then some.

True to her word, she's back in 15 minutes. Wet hair makes it look dirty blonde instead of light and she's in a pair of skin tight jeans along with her usual leather jacket — seems she didn't come dressed for a job interview when she walked in here today. She arches a brow, following him down stairs rather curiously. "And what is… Oh."

The sight of the other Bucky fully stops her for aheartbeat or two. She blinks quietly, having heard rumors, but that is different than seeing it before one's own eyes. She just stares a few moments, breathing slowly. "Oh… Bucky. Shit." She whispers quietly.

There's an odd softening in his face, as he looks at the prisoner. "I named him Matvei," he says, after a moment. "He didn't have a name of his own. There're a lot of 'em, Sharon. SHIELD has seven that I know of, in varying degrees of mental conditioning and stability. We're missing one who was present at another SHIELD site. I'm not even high enough level to know about 'em, but with me the cat's out of the bag. I've got the Director's permission to visit them face to face, but only with either you, her, or someone Level 7 and above….and only if I've got a sedative stun anklet on. Just in case we manage to trigger each other's programming."

"Shit. And…I made that list of people who can visit with you? Shit. I mean… Yeah. I almost feel bad that I could put money on the fact that the CIA is going to send me off on one last hurrah — they are bastards like that. But… yeah, Bucky. Whatever you need, you know that. I'm with you on this." There is not a single hesitaiton in Sharon's soft voice about that, he's earned her loyalty heart deep, it seems, over the time she kept visiting him when he was a prisoner here, and the casual times before. Even if they didn't speak for weeks, nothing seems to have changed for Sharon.

"The Director intends to partner us, I'm pretty sure," Buck admits, though his gaze never wavers from the pale face behind the glass. "And wants someone who'll be able to deal if….if some of the old programming pops up, in either me or them." He winces at the mention of the CIA. "Damn. Be extra careful," he adds. "I don't trust those guys further than I can kick 'em. But good."

The comment about their being partners actually seems to surprise Sharon, just a bit, but the shock fades into a momentary look of actual contentment. A half smile. She gives a little grunt and nods, "Well…if we're partners, I guess I didn't piss her off… Too much after all. And I take my coffee black with sugar. Partner." SHe comments offhandedly. She then takes a few steps closer to the glass, looking it over, the poor, too-weirdly-young looking Bucky beyond. Her fingertips come up, resting on the glass for a heartbeat or two. "…Does he know? Have you spoken to him yet?"

"I'll remember that," he says, with that funny, curling grin. "He's met me. He's getting better. But when I first met him, he had no real conception of individuality. No name, no number. I was just another one of him, you know? There are dozens, maybe hundreds. He's changing, slowly. But…." He trails off, sighs. "It's hard to reach 'em. I had a family, a history, friends, before the Russians got me. These guys….they've never had anything."

"…then… we give them something. SHIELD is up for that, right? We… figure how to break the programming and we give them a chance at life. It's not fair — not fair to any of you — how this shit started. Doesn't mean we have to end it miserable. He's in good hands now… We… we can handle this." Sharon murmurs firmly, though there is just a touch of heart ache behind her husky voice. Seeing the 'kid' like that definitely makes something ache in her.

"SHIELD's been working on it," he says, nodding. "They've succeeded well with some of them. Others…not so much. They aren't all perfect replicas of me - there's a lot of variation. But yeah - I called in some favors from Peggy to get sustained access to 'em. I don't know how much good I can do directly, but I am their next of kin, in a way."

A slight smile flickers across her lips, "Well, I'm pretty good at sneaking into SHIELD to visit a certain brunette. I think I can do the same for his look alikes. But… warning, I'm gonna be a horrible influence on your clones. I'll get them all on Lucky Strikes and New Orleans blues. And bad whiskey. Just… the worst influence in the world." She winks to him, only half joking, considering what Sharon had brought Bucky when he was locked up.

He slants a look at her, one brow up. "No need to sneak. You should be able to, legit. And I bet they won't. They're a lot more hardcore about keeping clean. Raised right, for some horrible Russian values of 'right'."

"Oh man… squeaky clean? Sounds like a challenge. I'll half to start with the good bourbon then and perhaps a cigarello. Something to get them on track to bad habits, then we can dive into Lucky Strikes. Or…" Sharon gives a thoughtful little huff if a laugh, "Maybe I just go for the nuclear option. Zeppolis. They have your blood. They won't be able to resist."

There's that lopsided grin. "I….it's like their my brothers, but also my kids. I feel weirdly protective of them. But they do seem to like sweets. Well, he does." Matvei has apparently decided it's time for a nap, stretching out on the camp bed and draping his arm over his eyes.

"Shit. I'd run out and get some now, but traffic to Brooklyn this time of day would probably constitute me barely restraining myself from actually murdering someone. Before the CIA sends me off, though, that kid's getting Zeppolis." The tone in Sharon's voice is determined, end of story, that Carter stubbornness now put ridiculously behind some sweet treats. "You…" She looks down, seeing if he's got that bracelet on, which she's pretty sure he doesn't, "You probably can't go in now, can you? Before he nods off?"

"No. Let him sleep." Bucky's voice is actually tender. "I'll get him some tomorrow, if you've got time." He displays a bare ankle, mock-demurely, and grins at her.

"…I'll make time. If the CIA tries to put me on a plane in the morning, maybe I'll tell them to shove it and forget professional courtsey, even." Maybe. There is still a part of Sharon which belongs to them in her head, if not her heart, because a decade of brainwashing loyalty will do that. Even if it's the more gentle, American version of brainwashing.

"They don't own you any more. You work for SHIELD now." His voice is calm, level. "If I were you, I wouldn't go on that mission."

A deeper sigh escapes her lips as she looks from the sleeping captive back to her friend. "I'm a better person than them, yeah. Than most of them. That's why I'm coming back here. But… part of being a better person is keeping my word. I'll work out the last few weeks then be here. It'll be fine." Sharon reassures him, giving her best attempt at a half smile, even if there is a line of tension behind her eyes. She's worried about it too. She doesn't trust them to not be petty. But she doesn't agree to turn her back either. "I'll be fine." She repeats, softer, one hand resting on his metal shoulder.

Then she lets him go and turns for the door, "I should head back, honestly. Need to finish conversations on the other side of things and I was here way longer than I expected. Gonna catch hell as is. I…I'll see you soon, Buck. Hopefully tomorrow."

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