1964-12-18 - The Importance of Being an Asset
Summary: According to Wanda, it's being force-fed.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
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wanda black-widow 


The Black Widow is looking the worst she's ever been over the last couple of days, imprisoned in a cell in the Triskelion, wearing a prisoner jumpsuit. Her ankles and wrists are cuffed, she's gone through a most humbling search procedure all over. Stripped of her tactical suit and gadgets, she's left quite helpless. A thing that doesn't sit well with her, as there's nothing she loathes more than loss of agency. She did have one rather interesting conversation with Director Peggy Carter, but other than that has been wearing an emotionless mask on her face, sitting mostly still, and reflecting.

They host their secrets tight to the chest in the Triskelion. SHIELD is a spy agency. Its secrets are many. What would they do, in the Soviet Union, knowing the very heart not only of the world but the universe itself sat under that bold silver eagle? Would they object, or would they descend en masse to evict her from their cares the same as a certain young man and his kin were ousted from the safe embrace of the Motherland? Especially since she escaped them, first time around? Questions worth asking. There are precious few files available on the Maximoff twins. Where they are known, it's in broken references here and there, for the children of the revolution — and the number they've witnessed firsthand is astounding — rarely line up in spy lingo to the same individuals. Still. The cause of so much heartache, so much mayhem, is somehow tasked with sipping coffee, delivering coffee, and waiting for a call now and then. She also may be among their most incendiary options, if SHIELD actually organized the agent to come down, down, down on her own and she hasn't bothered out of pure interest. Hardly helpful. Hardly frightening, the brunette whose golden skin amounts to no Aryan ideal; say nothing of that white-blond twin of hers. Loathsome conversation may not be all that likely as the figure ghosts along the glass, considering their captive spider. Captive. But by no means tamed. Does she spit venom?

If there's one thing that stripping gadgets away will not take, it's the Black Widow's years of training and honed senses, she is not easy to sneak upon. Subtle though she may be, and quiet by nature, Natasha still looks up when Wanda approaches the fortified glass, "you're not Director Carter," she notes, as if it wasn't obvious enough an observation on its own. She does, however, take heed of the fact it's the first time she's been visited by someone other than Peggy Carter herself.

Stripping gadgets never replaces the skill. Stripping away the uniform never changes the occupation underneath. The girl in the burgundy leather coat cut at severe angles to her body in such a fashion it can only be custom tailored doesn't need it for her armour, but she still prefers the sandalwood scent and the reassuring weight. It clouds her from the shoulders, that all black spectre otherwise imposing itself. The trail of black roses chases her; wrapped 'round pulse points, dusky, dark, shot by a spice. At least there's interest to go with the sullen, veiled presence considering that newcomer. Not Peggy, this one. Far too young. The eyes, though, they hold the lie: amber, and absolutely ancient for someone's face so youthful. Regard is given indirectly to Natasha, almost not blinking.

Natasha is fascinated by Wanda's silence, as well as the soul that reflect in those eyes, as the eyes are the window to the soul, and in Wanda's case, she is most unlike others. That much is apparent at a glance, even if one may struggle at putting their finger on just why. "I take it you are not here to interrogate me…?" Natasha asks as Wanda's silence continues, "I trust you know who I am, would you share who you are to form an even ground?" As if there could ever be even ground between the one inside a cell and the one outside.

Windows on a cracked firmament. Windows on an ultraviolet glow. Her chin rises slightly, the response of a lifelong fighter answering to a wordless beckons that she knows to be worthwhile and likewise concerning as it shall come to violence. A glance that matters so little; redhead, angry, restrained. These are factors pulled out from an initial foray. "Why?" A simple question drops into the void, flat, laconic as the woman on the other side of the glass is prone to be in colour and aspect. Characteristics one can find to be fleeting and brittle, impressions rolling off. The Slavic cheekbones, the intense arrangement, she's to the core a child of the east and west crossroads, where Kyiv' princes marched to pay tribute to Rome. It shows in the blood, it shows in the Transian accent.

Natasha smirks when Wanda provides the correct reply, the very same in kind to what the Widow might provide where the tables turned. "You play the game," she remarks, not offering any further pursuit of a name, "what is the purpose then? Observe my sanity? My resolve? I already told Director Carter, I foresee only death as my future…I will not talk, she seems to have an alternative in mind. I'm not yet sure of her endgame…are you?" Not likely she'll get a reply, but with her sitting in a cell and nowhere to go, she may as well entertain the notion.

Words hold power. They can resonate with belief or shine with the vicissitudes of a lie, carving out hidden threads for R someone with an ear to hear for them. Wanda's pupils widen slightly at the response, little else. The full mouth holds firm, the jaw set, the indirect looks straight from the school of proper behaviour for a half breed cur, as applied by a governess forced to teach on the boundaries of the Iron Curtain. Risky business, really. But the witch is a witch of the oldest kind, and the widening gyre of her intensely sensitive awareness flies free. So often she walks about with a proverbial lampshade on, to avoid being flattened and deafened. Here, in the relatively sanitized environment of the Triskelion, seeing auras and their emotional wavelengths comes together with clear ease. Not that it stops any of those edges from cutting. "Death is too easy." It takes a Slav to know a Slav, the gallows humour that only comes from the immense collective hardships of a nation their black bread, tears their tea and vodka. The other half of her lineage, the human one at least, understands that all too well. "Too clean."

Natasha observes Wanda everybit as Wanda observes her, not that it would do her any good from her current position, but she certainly notes that Wanda is not unlike any of the agents she had met. There's a foreboding sense of the unnatural in Wanda, and Widow has yet to decide if there's something to it, or Wanda is just an exceptional talent at projecting what she likes. Widow herself has dabbled in projection, which is why she's unsure. But then comes the reply, and Natasha laughs, leaning back against the wall of her cell, "I cannot argue with that." Nor should she, seeing how she planned a whole world worth of suffering for the Winter Soldier not long before she was interrupted.

Watch as is watched. She's not the sort of person to doubt the strength of a first impression. Her fingers lace together behind her back, lines of her body straight, those midnight lines hardened and hammered and catalysed. Nothing about her immediately screams mage. It screams Russian - - or Transian, good enough. Her lips tilt higher. It's not a smile. "Try again."

«You look better fit to serve the Motherland,> Natasha tries again when invited to do so, this time speaking in her native tongue, which by looks alone she assumes Wanda is well familiar with, «how do you find yourself with the Americans?»

«You look better fit to serve the Motherland,» Natasha tries again when invited to do so, this time speaking in her native tongue, which by looks alone she assumes Wanda is well familiar with, «how do you find yourself with the Americans?»

Her shoulders shrug slightly underneath her burgundy leather jacket. Comfort simmers along those lines. She wears it easily enough. Her eyebrow cocks, mouth still a wintry line. She tips her head a bit to the Russian and replies in English, "They use too many words."

Natasha looks curiously at Wanda as she elects to answer her question in English, crossing her arms as she keeps studying Wanda in silence, "you're not one for words, are you? Don't like their elusive nature? Or you just prefer concrete and direct?"

A bit of a head shake tosses those mahogany curls around her sloped shoulders, and Wanda delivers that veiled look with the full force of the Sight simmering hot through the amber depths of her gaze. "I listen. You have things to say, questions." Her stillness is profound; no excessive motions there, nothing to be hung up on.

"I would ask about you, but as noted by your reply when asked for your name, I wouldn't expect much," Natasha answers, grinning as she concurs, "listening is often the better of the two, lend your ears to all and tongue to none, is that not the saying…?" Certainly a guideline in the wonderful game of spycraft. Though there's much less wiggle room once you find yourself in a cell.

"Names." A shrug dances on her shoulders, not really committed to everything. Her eyes don't darken in the least, brushed by onyx lashes that flicker against her cheekbones. "Wanda. You?" Let her call herself whatever she wants, but it's best to lay out the choice. Lying on a name isn't valuable, at least to the dark-haired witch. Of course, given who backs her name, there's reason for that bleak acceptance and confidence. Wiggle room in spycraft meets bitter black caution, a slurry of a coffee or the hardest tea boiled from twice steeped roots. "No death then. What do you want?"

"Natasha…" Black Widow answers Wanda and looks relieved when she does, she's not quite sure what happened, but when Director Carter asked her the question, she gave an answer she didn't mean at all to give. She was worried she was suffering some strange nervous breakdown to be so honest, but now she seems all better, it gives her some measure of solace. She laughs when asked what does she want, giving the obvious, "to understand what happened the other day with Director Carter, so that mistake never happens again…I should not be here, and Winter Soldier should be dead. This, defies reason…" after a slight pause she adds, "I kill, or am killed, never captured…"

Is it worth even noting she is captured? The witch inclines her head at the cell, however nice it could be right now for Natasha's comfort. The Triskelion isn't known for such lovely amenities. Ask any of the brothers, children, or cousins of the Winter Soldier. Whatever they are. Those pretty necessities disappear fast when things go awry. "Walking a new path, Natasha." She doesn't slur the syllables, functionally sliding through them like a figure skater approaching a triple salchow, followed by a double axel. All she needs is a quick slide to be able to reach her conclusion.

Wanda easily blinks. Her stillness is comfortable. Things dead, things living. She slowly peels layers, reading the emotional contours around the stranger. Digging in, severing lines. "Why will she talk?"

Natasha considers Wanda in silence this time around, pondering her words, and not looking too pleased at them the insinuation isn't one to her liking. Assuming there even was one, Wanda gives the impression of one who speaks of dry facts, set in the 'now', at least from her short experience with Wanda.

Assuming that last question was addressed to her, rather than to an invisible friend standing by Wanda, she quips, "she will not talk. You can count on it."

"Yes." Agreement there. What will they consider, with that woman with the red lips and tilted hat? She is unlikely to bend because they want her to. Anyone gone through the crucible Peggy has is near to invincible to mere whims of her students and her victims and her guarded. "She does not give you this want." The plain crossroads before the Black Widow remains, laid out in as few words as possible by someone with a congenital allergy to lapsing in lengthy poetry, at least on the subject. She considers the reaction that unsurprising revelation holds, like a particularly bad tasting medicine.

"Well…she doesn't need to give me anything, sooner or later, death will come," Natasha says with resolve, as she shifts to lie down on her cot. "American, Russian, someone will deliver." She is aware of her situation. The Red Room may have not necessarily learned of her capture, it would give her some time, but if both herself and the Winter Soldier are unaccounted for, they're both as good as dead. She, after all, was supposed to eliminate the Winter Soldier. Whose to say another won't be after her. Then again, of the agents she knows, she can't think of another who might infiltrate the Triskelion the way she did, so perhaps in here is the safest place for her to be.

The arch of the eyebrows says everything. It takes the place of disbelieving laughter, amusement, derision. It supplies no pity and could be the stand-in for disbelief. "Asset." The word drops into the void with all the weight of a stone, plunging into the pool of calm to see what equilibrium can be disrupted. Why not? The Red Room probably prepared all its operatives for that. Wanda's disadvantage then. Her glittering eyes shut for a moment and she crosses her wrists behind her back, subtly stretching out, shoulders popping as she does so.

Natasha wears an amused expression on her face at that single word that Wanda shares with her, just stopping short of out right laughter, the woman was very good at playing the mysterious part. Heck, she may well turn out to be more specter than woman, but an asset? Natasha doesn't foresee that, though as Wanda is clearly making some kind of gesture, Natasha looks at her intently, "you going to cast a spell on me?" She mocks, not for once expecting that Wanda is actually able to do real magic.

"Eat, sleep, talk. Say no and do anyway." English isn't her strong suit here, at least by the clip and traipse of those words through such sharp, short choices of direct language. What poetry does that bird sing? It's likely haiku and not the sort beloved by Japanese ascetics. Hers is the soul of Lacedaemonia, where the Spartan ephors stared down the greatest warlord of their day with the sharp retort of if when Philip threatened to slay their people, destroy their farms, and raze their city if he brought his army into their land. Not for nothing is she hardly known in the realms of SHIELD, and not much without. Satisfaction ripples down her spine, the muscles eased, and the comfort found in loosening that knot satisfactory. It's harder to do in a corset, but finding comfort is right near the top of her list of glad tidings. "Always your choice. Make good choice."

"Is that not honestly the only thing we ever get…?" Natasha muses at the final words of Wanda, as she turns to stare at the ceiling of her cell. Still, while she did not relate, she does ponder the very short, few words the fellow Slav provided before. 'Eat', 'Sleep', 'Talk', are all obvious enough. Simple result of living. 'Say no and do anyway', that is the more complex one. Many intentions and suggestions could be read into it. Good thing Widow has time to reflect on puzzles, she has little else to do for the time being. At least she knows there are other interesting characters besides Director Carter in this establishment.

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