1964-12-17 - Getting To Know You
Summary: Peggy Carter conducts the first session with Black Widow since her capture, Widow expect she'll be executed, but learns Peggy might have other plans in mind.
Related: Our Kind of Traitor
Theme Song: "Getting To Know You" by Julie Andrews - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4MNANgFCYpk
black-widow peggy 

It's not been the best of days for the Black Widow, really. She's in a cell in the Triskelion. Her ankles are cuffed, her hands are cuffed, and she has been searched absolutely EVERYWHERE. Professionally, and by appropriate SHIELD personnel, but short of cutting her open, there's not been a millimetre of her unsearched. They even X-rayed her, for crying out loud. She's been washed and scrubbed to the point that there's not a single bit of any chemical that could be on her, and is in one of those lovely prisoner jumpsuits.

Cells are something the Black Widow is familiar with, on several occasions, under disguise, she got captured with the intent of getting inside a secured facility, only to break out and achieve her primary objective. This was not one of those cases, she did not elect to be imprisoned, certainly not by SHIELD, and most definitely not inside the Triskelion. It was one thing to infiltrate and escape the Triskelion with all her gear in tact, but now, stripped of everything, washed of any trace of pheremone she might use to her advantage, and left with her ankles and arms cuffed in nothing but a prisoner jumpsuit…well…she's trapped. For once in her life, truly helpless and not just playing a vulnerable role. She is sat in her cell, seething quietly, her expression rather devoid of any tells. But that would be the biggest tell for the shock she's in.

The search of Black Widow, in her full gear as Peggy apprehended her, would yield quite the bountiful harvest: the Black Widow suit which turned out to be quite a achievement in high tech design, featuring resistance to extreme temperatures and small caliber bullets, suction cups that explain her wall crawling (operated by a hidden button on the belt), hidden pouches with various gadgets from taser mines to smoke pellets to anti-detection device to foil metal detectors.

The prize poessession, however, turned out to be those golden gauntlets she wore around her wrists. A genius invention holding within her Widow's Bite, mechanism for unleashing those electrical discs of high voltage, a hidden garotte for assassinations, and supply for a modular attachments to her belt, for shooting those grappling Widow Line hooks.

The best in Red Room gear for the top secret assassin, and now it landed in SHIELD's hands.

Widow is quite dejected, reflecting on what's to come, as she sits in her cell quietly.

Peggy has various personnel inspecting ALL the goodies. From a very secure, TEMPEST-shielded room, just to make sure there are zero transmissions in or out. But that, she leaves to more scientific minds than her own. THIS, on the other hand, is work for /her/. She's unarmed as she approaches the cell; if she has no weapon, there's nothing for the Widow to take from her. And, as yesterday, she's also wearing the Lock and Key formula. Other than that, she's in her normal attire. Orders are given to the guards; if Peggy does NOT give a specific passphrase on exit, they are to load the entire area full of CS gas.

Nastiness as prepared for as can be, the door will unlock, and SHIELD's Director enters the cell. She takes a step inside, waits for the cell to be closed and locked behind her, and only THEN starts closer towards the Russian woman.

The moment the cell door opens, Natasha is on her feet, an instinct to take advantage of an opportunity that presents herself. But it doesn't take more than even that slightest of movements to recall her ankles and wrists are both cuffed, she cannot run if she tried, and she falls right back into sitting on her bunk bed. When she sees Peggy walking inside, she frowns, but only for a moment. Something about Peggy, just seems so nice…she can't stay angry with her, at least not so openly, and she loses the frown before long. "Director Carter," she greets in a neutral tone of voice, "congratulations, you're the first to best me so completely."

Peggy offers a smile. "Thank you for the congratulations. I hope things haven't been too unpleasant for you so far?" she asks, making nice. "What's your name?" she asks, still being civil and social.

"I can admit when I am bested, and seeing as I consider myself the best, being bested on its own is unpleasant enough…" Natasha admits, trying to take her eyes off Peggy, but finding it a difficult feat, as something about Peggy draws her attention. She's fascinated with the woman, she assumes it must be because she managed to best her, but soon recalls what Peggy told her the other night when she was captured. Because the answer she gives when asked for her name, would often be the Russian for Black Widow, Chyornaya Vdova, but this time, she gives an answer she never gave anyone before, "Natalia Alianovna Romanova." Judging by Widow's wide eyes at the sound of her own words, one could expect that was as truthful an answer as she could possibly give.

Peggy nods. "Ms. Romanova. Or would you prefer Natalia. You know my name already, of course." She draws closer, and will do something contrary to survival protocols…she takes out a set of keys and uncuffs the Widow's ankles. "My apologies for the security."

"I mainly go by Natasha…to the…" she was about to say my friends, but after what happened with Winter Soldier, she's not sure she even have any of those anymore. The spycraft game can sure get very lonely when you're truly down. "I prefer Natasha," she eventually concludes, looking up at Peggy and sighing, "what will you do with me?" She asks the one most important question towards her immediate future, frankly, she's confused by the fact she's not dead yet.

Peggy looks back to Natasha. "Honestly? That's largely going to be up to you, Natasha. Yes, you've been employed by our adversaries. But I suspect they've done as much a number on your head as they did on Sergeant Barnes. I can't exactly blame you for your actions if that's the case."

"I don't know a Sergeant Barnes," Natasha insists, it has always been her understanding that Barnes was some persona that SHIELD has been trying to press onto the Winter Soldier. She knew Winter Soldier since she was a little girl, he trained, helped hone her skill till she was able to best even him on occasions. She's loathe to think that the person she came to care so much about wasn't real. She stays quiet when Peggy mentioned the likelihood that her head has been played with, the thought frightens her, and she's already experience what could be taken as evidence to support it, if not some weird deja vus, or flashbacks that kept changing on different days. Reflecting on her past was never something she enjoyed doing. "I was ballerina for Bolshoi," she explains, "Americans killed my husband…then I joined with KGB. It was the Americans who made me choose this life, not anyone else…" which makes sense if one accepts that version of events. "I am no coward, I will not blame others for my choices in life. If I die for it, so be it. I served my Motherland with pride."

"James Buchanan Barnes. Captured in World War II. Brainwashed and experimented on by the Russians to be converted into the Winter Soldier." Peggy says it matter-of-factly. "And I suspect you may have been through similar conditioning. We're still researching that. I don't want to kill you, Natasha. That would be a horrible waste. A waste of training, a waste of skills. Worse, a waste of a life. I am not your enemy." She says it with the same certainty someone would say the sky is blue or water is wet.

Natasha wants to scream at Peggy that she's telling lies, but the affect of Lock and Key permeating from Peggy denies Natasha from disagreeing with her, everything Peggy says rings true. Natasha wouldn't care to admit it, but she feels very strongly about Peggy over the last couple of days, that woman was an honest one. She wouldn't lie, and she should never be hurt. She's too precious. A shame that such a woman was in the employ of the enemy. She does look split upon hearing the truth of what happened to Bucky described to her, but she says nothing, she doesn't speak out to refute it, she just nods as Peggy explains she's not her enemy.

Peggy will reach out and confirm that by uncuffing the Widow's wrists, as well. "Unfortunately, politics are complicated. If it became publically known that SHIELD was in custody of you, there are a number of hawks who would love to make an example of you. Which, again, would be a waste." She seems to change the subject. "Are you hungry?"

"You think that is wise move…?" Natasha asks Peggy, shocked as she releases the cuffs around her wrists. Peggy truly had courage like no other. There's so many things Widow could do with her arms released, but she doesn't, because Peggy is exceptional, and well, she likes her too much. Natasha can't help but laugh as Peggy notes how there are some hawks would love to make an example of her if they'd known she was in SHIELD custody, "Red Room would be first to get me, so that's no concern," … why did she just speak of the Red Room in the presence of SHIELD's Director? Natasha had an entire career of weaving webs and spreading deceit and keeping secrets hidden in secrets. Why would she blurt out something like that, to the head of the enemy? Something was wrong with her, that much Natasha knows. She can only suspect that being imprisoned doesn't agree with her, but still, she should know better. "Yes, yes, I am!" Natasha is delighted to have a chance to change topics, because she's still at a loss over her misstep.

Peggy replies "I told you. I'm not your enemy, Natasha. And you don't have to be mine. What would you like to eat? I'll arrange for it." That's a smile she offers to the redhead. "And I'll even give you a treat. Some reading material for while you eat."

"I don't want to be your enemy, Director Carter," Natasha admits, before asked what she would like, and immediately thinking of some comfort food from home, looking at Peggy and asking with much doubt, "you don't happen to have Shuba anywhere, do you? Perhaps Borsch?" She nods at the offered reading material, "thank you," anything is better than being imprisoned with nothing to do in her cell.

Peggy is actually familiar with both. "I'm sure it won't be as good as what you're used to, but I think we can manage that." Especially as she has people ready to act on it. "I'll be back shortly, Natasha. Wait here for me." It's a test. She'll move to step out. If she gets out, unaccosted, she'll shut the door, call the passphrase, and dispatch her agents to bring her a few specific files, and put in the order for Natasha's food. Then it'll be a re-entry once she has both, seeing if the conditioning is holding up without her active presence there.

"I will really appreciate it," Natasha says, and despite hating herself for it, she actually smiles at Peggy for the gesture. "I will wait," Natasha promises and remains seated. Peggy turns to leave, her back exposed to Natasha, hands no longer cuffed, it's all Natasha needs to kill Peggy. But she doesn't. She remains seated, and observes as Peggy departs. The woman was too good, too nice, she just can't harm her.

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