1964-12-14 - Project Virgo: Brother of the East
Summary: Matvei is out of custody, but he's now in Bucky's hair.
Related: Project Virgo
Theme Song: None
rogue bucky 

2348 hours. Avengers Mansion. Steve's suite.

The hour is late. Most prefer to be abed, or at least snug in their robes, having a last cup of tea or bit of toast. No stockings are hung by the chminey with care. St. Nicholas last left Russia in complete ruins and even so, Matvei doesn't entertain visions of sugar-plums. His are a darker order by ten. The room is large, the space expansive, and he sits in the corner with his knees to his chest and his back to the walls where they converge. The lone concession to comfort, he probably has a bandage for that gunshot wound, a rather mild one all things said and done.

He hugs his arms around his legs. There are no books here, no newspapers, no material of any kind he knows of. Clothes, perhaps, but other than availing himself of the lavatory, nothing else is touched, not even the bed. He sits. He waits.

Such as it's always been.

He's been all of New York - if only those other selves of his could all be made to work in concert. But he's found time to crash here. There's been a suggestion that he and Rogue take up their rooms here for now, to give Matvei faces to come to.

And it's a tired Bucky who slopes in, at that hour, to come see him. A knock at the door, an announcement in Russian….an there he is with more clean clothes under his arm, and a blanket in bright blues. "Hey," he says, gently, setting the clothes and blanket on the bed, coming to sit down cross-legged - facing him, but not so close as to seem threatening, hopefully.
Matvei sits upright, back not quite to the wall. His feet rest in front of him, bent knees pointed up: the kind of position a man can hold for a long time indeed. His clothes are rough and a tad ripe, despite his best efforts. A bar of soap and running water in a sink go a long way to washing out what he can of the bloodstains and other accumulated stains from being on the floor of a police station conference room. It's not perfect but the best he can do. The rough line of two days' growth attest to not shaving, but he never scratches when directly observed.

The knock changes little. He is not on his feet like an anxious hound ready for a walk. Those pale eyes track the door, smudged by a certain lack of sleep of his own. A curt blink and he nods. "Is it time to go?" The first question out is that, not eager, not urgent, just there.

"Not yet," he says, simply, in Russian. "You can leave the room, you know. There's a kitchen downstairs. Have you been eating?" He gestures with the metal hand at the clothes. "You're closest to me in size, so I got you some new clothes. You can take a shower, too. Are you in pain?"

With no immediate need to go, Matvei remains in that quasi-alert position absent any readiness to rise and march out the door like a good little buckling. A nod and he waits somewhat expectantly. Instructions suit him well; this he understands. Dress. Wash. Not in that order. "It was a poor shot. I tried to get to the floor." Hard to do given the circumstances of being trapped inside a delivery truck, very probably bound and shackled, but with the additions from the Weehawken Police Department, who knows?

He slowly gets up and straightens the waistband of those entirely sorry sweatpants. Please burn them, they deserve nothing better. Then he cracks a yawn, turning his face away. "I stayed." Self-evident, that. "I will go and wash."

"If you're hungry, I can make you something," Buck says, calmly. "And if you need help here, you can ask for Steve if I'm not around. He's good people, he'll keep you safe." There's something gratifying in this, in its odd way. Being able to help patch up and tend this one, the most docile one so far.
What does 'food' constitute for someone in the regimented, controlled world of the lab… or the cage, for that matter? Whatever he is given. Choice never comes into the picture; confronted by it, the most the shaggy, bedraggled version of Bucky does is nod his understanding. Agreement and consent do not factor in. "Okay. Ask Steve. Why safe? I am not hurt here."

Padding on his sock feet is easy. His shoes are neat, left near the door, clean as he can make them. Boy has a thing for tidiness, but naturally so with no possessions of his own. Disregard the ugly bruises from where the bullet ran over his back, the healing wound.

"I don't know who got you shot. Which makes me distrust SHIELD's safety. Steve is my best friend, and he's like you and me, to some extent. A….created soldier. Just…he was on the American side. No one will hurt you here." Buck….he should go downstairs, start making grilled cheese sandwiches and soup. Something homey, at least to him. But he's inclined to hover. "I'll be sleeping next door, from now on."

"They asked me to go," Matvei says, and he looks into the washroom. Quite a bit different from what he might know, but the basics are the same. A shower is a shower is a shower, unless one ventures too far east. The shirt stripped off, he folds a neat square to place atop the toilet. That looks about right. "No camera? You tell me this. Why?" He will finish drawing up the shower after inadvertently spraying his face and shoulder with cold water. Ark.
He's not looking - granting him that much privacy at least. "No cameras are watching you, either in the bathroom or the bedroom. Hell, none in this building. This is….it's not a prison. There's hot water there," he adds, after that yelp. "Because you might want to know?"

Privacy is an unfamiliar situation for him. Matvei might not even realize the luxuries allowed by people in the west, those countries where expansive territory permits two bedrooms and a bathroom per family unit. Shocking. Bedrooms, mind, not rooms. Ghastly. He shuffles away the note for the future, warm water and rolling the handle around finds that. Now mind no cameras, future reference of value there too. Throwing himself upon the mastery of the plumbing, he makes very short work of washing. Soap, done. Shampoo, fast. Overexcited, he runs back to forth in the widened space defining the shower. His feet squeak and stamp. The hot water on the wound hurts, but in a way of healing rather than complete misery. It's a catastrophic molt for the past few days.

That's enough to make James grin. "Nice, isn't it?" he says, through the door. "I know there are clean towels in there. I'll hand you the clean clothes, if you want."

His hair is sticking up at all sorts of angles, shoved this way and that. Attempting to wash suds out through vigorous, speedy scrubbing gives him that particularly haphazard appearance. Spending a few minutes cleaning amounts to a luxury. Ten minutes? Not on anyone's life. A towel ends up being scraped this way and that, used with sparing blotting. All he needs to do is poke his head out through the side. "Oh. Yes, that would be best." He squeezes the towel to the spot on his side left scraped.

"There are more of those where that came from, the towels, I mean. And I can get you more clean clothes. I'll bring a razor and shaving cream later," Buck adds, as he hands off the clothes past the door. He's in sweater and corduroys, boots, t-shirt. Hat and coat are downstairs, on the Avengers' (no doubt super technological) coat tree.

Matvei has the business of dressing quickly downpat. Give him five minutes and he can not only assemble a tent, he might have a fire started and a selection of cold cuts on a charcuterie plate figured out. His hand combs through his hair the best he can manage, and he hops around on one foot trying to get a sock on. "I have enough, but I thank you. This is much. Is the razor allowed? They don't like…" He shakes his head. Old memories.

"This isn't a prison - it's a home, if a strange one. No one knows where you are but me, Steve, and my girl, Scarlett. The other people who live here….they won't let anything happen to you. You don't want to hurt yourself, do you?" It's an honest question. "The razor's allowed. And ….you need a comb and a toothbrush, all that," Buck looks a little guilty. "Well, it's Christmas, soon, anyhow," he adds.

"I am a weapon." It's a point-blank statement, really, spoken without much lyrical emphasis to cause anyone grave concerns about mental wellbeing, as much as they know anything about the problem in this era. "Razors for the workers, not for me." He speaks easily enough about these topics, absent sorrow or puzzlement. The rules are the rules. Matvei checks himself to avoid any dripping and he slings the towel neatly over the curtain rod, as a matter of tidiness and habit. "A toothbrush would be good. I do… work here? Is this a work house?"


That makes that coldness come into Jame's eyes for a moment, that ice-glint of anger that sits comfortably between his own warmth and Winter's permafrost. But it's gone as soon as it was there. "No, not anymore," he says, and his voice is very gentle. "You'll be what you choose to be, in time, Matvei Yegorovich. And if you don't want to grow a beard, you don't have to have one. I'll get you a safety razor, it's what I use. Right now, I think what you need is to rest and eat and heal. If you want books or magazines, I can bring you some."

"Reading and the records are good. They like us to listen." Naturally. They were laid out unconscious practically at Site I in Quebec, when trouble fell. Music therapy has been a large part of their regimen, at least as long as SHIELD is involved. Matvei lacks for the despair or the anger, or perhaps even the capacity to recognize the risk. Almost. He edges to the doorway for the bathroom, as though anticipating a need to remove himself from line of sight in short order in case Bucky explodes into movement or anger. He reads for those minute shifts foretelling an explosive eruption, the tremors acting as his tea leaves. "Beards are itchy and impractical. Too easy to remember me."


So much of this one is opaque…but some of their reactions are so in tune, like two nearly identical crystals struck to chiming. Buck lifts his hands, palm out, bows his head fractionally. "I'm not going to hurt you, Matt," he says, still lightly. "And I'll bring you books. Shall we go get some food?"

"Is anyone else out? I better stay if anyone else is." He can't hear them, cocking his head a little to distinguish any random footsteps, any indications of people shuffling or a marching band crashing through. There must be a situation warranting that degree of perception employed liberally. Wax not poetic about Matvei's reactions, but he sticks his hands into his pockets for lack of anything else overt to do with them. Of course he will come. There is no question because he doesn't question the request.


"Out of the building? Sure. Out in the building - maybe. But it's okay. No one will hurt you. You're allowed to be here. It belongs to Steve, the big, blond guy that drove us here. He's kind of in charge. C'mon," he says, gesturing towards the hall. "Ever had tomato soup?" He knows they grow tomatoes in parts of Russia, big glossy black things.

"No leaving." That Matvei is adamant on, short of Bucky throwing him over his shoulder and yelling about walkies. Nothing to be worried about there. A skim of the room already identified every last way in and out, including less plausible ones. Getting to the kitchen off dim knowledge of the layout not obtained during midnight prowls is hardly a bad idea, either. "Soup, yes. In winter, not always. The fall was best for soup." He trudges along afterwards, light eyes moving everywhere.

"Right now, yeah, I think you should stay in the building. I can't make you do anything, but I think it'd be safest. YOu can go up to the roof, though, if you like. There's even a pool that's heated." Keeping the conversation going, as he heads down the stairwell to the main floor, and then down again to the brightly lit, cheerful kitchen. "Good. I make decent soup."


Did anyone ask Matvei his opinion, he might speak more about jazz or the relative benefits of glossy paper in a magazine to the dull stuff. "I do not go out." That settles that. A little shake of his head. What the heck is he going to do with a pool, feed ducks that pass by? Earn the ire of pigeons? Spazz out at all the ice and puddles accumulating, making fast friends with Jarvis or whomever cleans this place? Soup will satisfy his bellyache, given it's been longer than anyone wants to know since he last ate.

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