1964-12-27 - You Can't Always Get What You Want (even death)
Summary: Still imprisoned at the Triskelion, Black Widow is visited by Bucky and Kyr, one of the clones. During the conversations she learns what's the worst she could expect.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
rogue bucky black-widow 

It's been a while since Black Widow was captured by Peggy Carter, moments away from exacting her revenge on the Winter Soldier. Of course since finding herself inexplicably imprisoned at the Triskelion, the Winter Soldier hasn't been the foremost problem on her mind. Natasha is dressed in a prisoner's jumpsuit, and she is not at all pleased. On the other hand, now that she's had more than enough time to reflect on her cruel if confusing fate, she's not nearly as angry looking all the time. Having her ankles and wrists cuffed, don't allow for much movement, but she does have to stay active and keep in shape, so right now she's lying on the floor of her cell, keeping her legs together and doing spinners with them, full circles clockwise from floor (without touching) to the peak of height, after every 50 sets, she changes direction. She'd love to do some boxing on the wall, but alas, cuffs are a bother.

When did he show up? Silently, as is his wont. But he's even got a SHIELD agent's uniform on, as if to add insult to injury. There he is, on the other side of the 'glass' that functions as one wall of the cell, looking none the worse for wear, truth be told. Grave and somber as Winter has always been, without the sparkle that belongs solely to James.

In a not too distant part of the building, a senior agent frowns at a beeping light. A technician stuck on monitoring duty nods to the doors opened and shut in sequential order. A soft chime alerts the agent who pulled this shift about who goes where. Some annoying cameras give grainy imagery, recording steadily, and then the tech goes on to ask, "Is Twelve-Seven supposed to be on rotation?"

Twelve-Seven has the rare pleasure of munching on a peppermint cane, walking in bare feet down the wrong hallway. He, unlike the original, is soaking wet from the waist up. So much for a towel. Waist down, he's in regulation grey pants, a soft sports jacket tied by the arms around him. Kyr looks at the next set of doors ahead of him, and clickety clack, they open.

Natasha proved to not have lost her awareness and alertness despite a long period of time in mostly solitude in her cell, at first she seems unaware, but does eventually stop her exercise while sitting up and turning to look at the glass wall. "Come to gloat…?" She asks with a snort, looking with disdain at the SHIELD uniform Bucky is wearing, "at least I know I made the right call, even if you did heal nicely."

"No, I haven't come to gloat," he says, mildly. "Come to see how you were doing." He seems at ease in the black and white uniform, the long hair tied back into a neat tail at the nape of his neck. Why does he keep it that way? "And I tried to tell you," he adds, tone still even, rather than defensive.

Cue buttons pressed. Film starts to roll, the slow-motion recording capture of voices at least taken into long databanks. SHIELD is never without eyes and ears. They engage without a hint of where the microphones and speakers hide. Doors that open where they should not bring their own array of surprises, when it comes down to it.

"You care…?" Natasha asks in a spiteful, venomous tone, clearly not happy to be seen in such a low state. Particularly not by Winter Soldier, her mentor and possibly something more, and definitely not by Bucky, a traitor who has taken the place of Winter Soldier, and played her for a fool one time too many. She's on to him now, but it's too late, she failed to terminate him and he gets to look at her from the correct side of the cell. "Well, it should please you Director Carter has yet to decide on my execution, maybe they'll let you torture me if you ask real nice…" Natasha offers bitterly. It's only fair, she was going to torture Bucky before killing him. "Tell me what?" She snaps.

"No. I don't torture. Winter might, but he's not in control anymore. And I tried to tell you who I really am. You should've gone back and found my file, Natasha. It's all in there - what they did to me, how they made me. How they used me to train you. I could've brought you into SHIELD long before, but I wanted to give you a chance to see how it really was and decide on your own." He takes a slow breaht, lets it out on a sigh. "Did you never question that I had no name, only a title?" He sounds merely sad - there's no gloating in his voice, no gleam of triumph. Not quite pity. "They won't kill you. They didn't kill me, and I was worse than you." But then….Peggy knew him, and so did Steve.

Doors open, curiously, and they do not have the ideal vacuum seal someone designed for after Twelve-Seven, otherwise called Kyr, makes his way through. He runs his hand over his cropped, wet hair. The peppermint crunched on his teeth delivers shocks of unexpected flavour, cool ice and eye-watering menthol, a manufacture in heaven. Rolling off his feet, he makes little noise but the trail of drops here and there give him away when he reaches out to push another door open. Bucky's spitting image, bar a few fine details changed, clearly has no idea of what he walked into. He doesn't register the redhead in a foul mood except in a tactical sense. Or the fact it is chillier. Or anything other than his reflection is in a suit. He squints at it, steps back.

"So you admit you are no longer yourself," Natasha frowns, though in some respect, she feels a little better. It means the Winter Soldier is no traitor, SHIELD has simply messed with his mind, much like they've done to her. How else to explain how Peggy Carter was able to best her without a fight? Disarm her with Natasha even trying to resist? It was too mind boggling. Then again, Peggy suggested the Red Room is at fault. What to believe? She's not so sure she knows anymore. She only knows something is wrong, with Winter Soldier, with herself. There's also the little matter of the last time she spoke to Peggy Carter, which left her much more open to accept the premise that Winter Soldier never was Winter Soldier, she just doesn't want to believe it. After all, it just means a significant part of her life was a lie. Then a new challenger arrives, and Natasha looks his way, only to see the exact, or near exact copy of Bucky, "so what? Now they'll make Black Widow copies too while I rot here…? Is that the plan, 'Bucky'?" She takes to finally calling him by name, but the disdain to that name is apparent.

But there are questions asked, sensible ones, and for the life of her, Natasha can't think of an answer. Why did she never bother to ask of his personal name? They did have something of a relationship, it wasn't exactly like meeting Agent Moroz or Crimson Dynamo, this was a person dear to her, and she never gotten more than Winter Soldier for his designation. It also never bothered her, or occured to her as strange.

"I don't know…" she answers at her failure to conjure a reason, or a memory of it ever bothering her at any point. "But they will kill me, Bucky," Natasha seems quite sure of that much, "I've assassinated too many of their dear informats, high level personnel, and did my share of sabotage against the Americans in geneal and SHIELD in particular. Why would they let me live?"

"No. What I'm saying is that I'm finally myself again," James's voice has a steely note in it, now, beneath that determined calm. "I was born James Barnes. That's the name I fought the Germans under. The Russians found my frozen body and revived me, turned the remains into the Winter Soldier, though torture and brainwashing," he says, quietly. Then Kyr appears, and Buck looks over in evident surprise. A double-take, in fact, shocked, but not yet threatened. He drops into that flawless Russian, complete with its tinge of Vladivostok accent, «Hey, it's Kyr, isn't it? What're you doing here, fella?» As if the other Buck were a puppy that had wandered out of his own yard. An aside to Widow, «No. The Russians made these guys who look like me - how, we don't know. They're not exact clones.»

Kyr and his candy cane, straight out of a hot shower, clearly does not fit the bill as intimidating by chiseled lines, parade rest, and a fancy uniform. Just imagine Bucky in a more youthful model, carrying fewer scars that even the serum cannot erase from the eyes, and a functioning pair of arms. Grey eyes hood, sliding over the SHIELD regulation attire to the other SHIELD regulation clothing. He is odd, dressed neither as prisoner or worker. Patients get different treatment apparently.

He chews on the chunk of candy until it melts away into sharp, clean water. A swallow comes and his Russian is icy, precise, an AK-47 burst to the ears with intimations of Novosibersk. «I got bored.» Bored. In a SHIELD holding facility, boredom is apparently grounds to stray around. «She looks ready to bite your face off.»

"So…what are you saying? Winter Soldier is definitely the fake…?" Natasha asks, looking intently at Bucky while sitting on the floor of her cell. She's not playing some mental chess for once, her question seems genuine enough. Then again, who really knows if anything is what it seems when it comes to Black Widow. "So Peggy Carter was telling me the truth…" Natasha notes, and with that she looks bitter. There never was a Winter Soldier. Her mentor was a lie, and her wouldbe lover was a lie. At least the Red Room, the K.G.B. and Mother Russia are very real, otherwise, what the heck was she?

«Well that's just great,» she shifts to Russian, «glad you were able to find yourself again. Sorry I wanted to kill you for it. I thought you were a traitor.»

The blue eyed gaze of the Russian woman shifts to Kyr, «is it true? You are Russian made? Not American?» Her own accent is of Stalingrad. «You are very observant, training or inherent?» She asks curiously as Kyr reads just what she wanted to do to Bucky the moment he stepped in.

«Winter exists. But he's a Soviet creation. He's a constructed personality. C'mon, think. Who were his parents? Where was he born? He didn't have those things - not because of secrecy, but because they weren't real. James Buchanan Barnes is who I am. When you get out of here, go to any public library in America. Look up newspapers from the Great War - ask the librarian to help you find articles about Captain America and Bucky Barnes. There are hundreds. If I was a traitor to anyone, it was the USA and because I was forced to be. I owe Russia no loyalty at all, except as it relates to these guys,» A nod at Kyr, and a crooked grin. «I trained her in Russia. She's the Black Widow and my prize student….when I was under Soviet control. Hard to find out that someone you looked up to is a liar and a traitor.» Then he frowns at Kyr. «…..you're another who can't be held if he doesn't want to, eh?» He knows of Volya and Lazar's powers. «…..and you're Adam's buddy, right?»

«I don't like you.» The younger vision of Bucky, the one who marched into war, liberated dark dreams, and uncannily delivered a sharp grin all the while is very much standing in place. Kyr narrows his eyes slightly at Natasha. «Lots of talk about killing. Smells like fear.» He shrugs his right shoulder, eyeing up his peppermint-flavoured candy cane again. God knows where he found that thing, it's not as though they hang around on every end. «Your vertebrae snap good as anyone. Murder is the cage rattled by doubt when you are trapped inside.»

He shrugs again, and gives one of those toothy grins right back to Bucky. The smudge of a bruise on his upper bicep won't be there in a few hours. «What? No, they were trying to kill me. Make Adam do as he was told. You don't get the electric sticks?»

Judging by the silence from Natasha, Bucky's words for once get to her. She's not about to do any of the things he offered, she doesn't need to, she already knows. Even if she refuses to admit. She believed it the moment Peggy explained it to her, but seeing him infront of her, she wanted to believe Winter Soldier was real. She should be in mourning now, not in a cell, someone very dear to her died. Or rather, never existed.

She remains silent for a long while, before eventually quipping, «I can only hope Central will view this as no fault of mine…even though for the life of me I still don't understand. I lived the moment she caught me over and over since I woke up in this cell, I've tried to analyze it, nothing makes sense…nothing.» She looks bitterly at Bucky, and while she doesn't say the word, the impression is she feels helpless. And that just happens to be a word that was never in her vocabularly, at least not in reference to herself.

Black Widow looks surprised by Kyr's assessment of her, as she asks, «you've truly no idea of what a Black Widow is?» She cocks her head towards her right shoulder as she considers him, a bit surprised by his reaction to killing, «it is not a matter of fear or lack there of, it is a matter of fulfilling one's function.» A very dry and almost machine-like way of describing her profession, but if there's one thing Widow still knows beyond a doubt, is what she is, and what she does. «You have me at a disadvantage, providing philosophical bravado while I'm trapped in a cell. You don't expect me to argue your point, do you?» With a shrug she adds, «nothing you can say will offend me,» but Bucky on the other hand, oh, Bucky can definitely make her want to kill him. Though he seems very eerie friendly upon this particular visit. Natasha wouldn't expect that, considering last he saw her he got shot intentionally none lethal shot to make him suffer.

The marks of his training, that knowledge. The bullet that brings instant death, the one that causes the slow bleed, all the better to have a weakened, terrified victim for that last interrogation. But there's only sympathy in his eyes as he steps forward to lay his metal hand on the 'glass', fingers splayed. «It isn't your fault, Natalia,» he says, softly. . «Not at all. We were dupes and tools, through no fault of our own. I don't know how she got you, I didn't see.»

His hand is still there, as he turns to look at Kyr again, and there's a look that's entirely Winter's. For Winter isn't dead, not truly - captive, subdued, and frozen, the tables turned, but still there in him. The words still work. «Trying to kill you?» His anger's always been a thing of ice, the few times Natasha saw it….and there it is, a blade of frost. «Electric sticks? Not since I had my own mind again. What were they trying to make Adam do that he didn't want to do? Are they still doing it?» So prepared to go wade in.

Kyr returns to the idle taste of the peppermint cane. Something new, and new is valuable even when soured in an odd jumpsuit and talking with mechanical precision. «You talk an awful lot about death and loss.» Words from the mouths of youthful babes, comparatively. But any deep look in those grey eyes dispels the notion of someone ignorant, naive, a child among the adults. They don't tattoo lines like they painted hashes on the side of planes or pin bombs in the headquarters.

«Don't know. Never see him. Just the same stone-faced folks.» Hence, boredom. Boredom for someone crackling with energy and that lupine leanness to him, the muscle tone that only comes with constant, chronic activity performed to the peak of human ability and maybe beyond. «Smelt them. Electricity is sharp. Heard him.» The grim hunter's smile shows teeth. «Figure I'll bite their throats out if I gotta. He's the good one.»

She was able to keep a pretty neutral visage for the most part, trying to keep her cool, not let anything rattle her, not give anything to her captors. But when Bucky places his metallic hand against the glass, and calls her by her name…not just a name, by her real name, the one precious few people even know, she can't help but force herself up to her feet, shuffling closer to the glass with her cuffed ankles, while reaching to place her hand against the glass, akin to touching Bucky's metallic hand, the best version she can manage at least. She stays silent, but it doesn't take a supreme analyst to tell she was moved just now. It does calm her to find out that Bucky himself is unaware of what Peggy did to her, maybe it was still secret, maybe not everyone in the world knew this unexpected flaw. «Good,» she notes, «very good. I hope no one ever knows. Though I still wish to know. This never happened. Never.»

When Kyr interrupts this one moment of solace, where Natasha can almost pretend things might be salvageable, she turns to look at him with a smirk. "Yes. Death is what I deliver, and what in turn, will be delivered to me. There's no surprise there." As for loss, if he didn't understand from listening in on them, Natasha wasn't going to waste time explaining. It wasn't even any of his business, just like it isn't any of SHIELD's business, but she figures they won't deign to stop recording even if she asked nicely.

She does eventually turn a question of her own to Kyr, «who controls you? What is -your- mission? Or at the very least directive…? I'm in a cell, likely about to die, what's the harm in sharing?»

He doesn't abandon it, for now. «They aren't going to kill you. Though if they do what I suspect might happen and offer you an an agent trade, you will wish they had,» It's not a leering threat, but a bleak statement of fact. «I'll argue against it, but I'm still junior here, untrusted. You could defect, but…..it'll take more than my urging to change your heart as it'd need to be changed.»

That blue stare is calm, still sad, as he glances to Kyr again. «I'm going to go visit him. Today.» he says. «This is not…..it's not right. An d it's not how this agency does things.» Is it Bucky? How do you know? YOu're protected by Peggy, the cracked veteran buddy, the old war story tottering around, the remnant of Steven's little shadow.

SHIELD agents cluster around speakers, deathly silent, in an office somewhere in the complex. Words are repeated almost verbatim by the efficient typing pool, a dozen typewriters clacking every confessional for Peggy to review in the privacy of her office. Runners are already dispatched to pass along information. Three teams no doubt wait, holding any number of different suppression devices, ready to strike. Say the word, no more Widow, Winter or woebegone Soviet John Doe.

Kyr actually laughs. Funny sound coming from him, so disused. "They do no waste here," he says, English, a broken kind of it, but coming along nicely since he was heard in Quebec fighting off the rancorous ghosts beaten and zapped and shocked into his system. "There is a plan. Plan for you, and me. Not him." In a pleased fugure, he shakes his head. The candy cane wrapper crackles in his fist. "So no, no tell you about me. I say no about that."

In Russian, fluidity comes as easy as cream diluting a hard Turkish coffee. «Be like the Champion of the Motherland, not this angry fox. He knows the true mission and does it, no matter that it may be hard and ask so much. Yes? Honour is doing that duty. Not being best at the job or have all the awards and cleanest record. These things are so unimportant. What is your cause? What matters the most? I know what keeps the Champion alive. No hurt will stop that. He is here, and everywhere, and no chains hold him. I'll be like that one day, maybe.»

Natasha lowers her head as Bucky insists she won't be killed, «if Steve Rogers falls in hands of Mother Russia, you think he will not be killed? I'm like him, only I'm on the right side,» Natasha offers a perspective to provide a better idea on why she would be killed. But she readily agrees when he brings up the possibility of agent trade, «yes, if I'm traded for an American, I will pay heavy price…I doubt they believe I had no choice in what happened.» Little does she know that unlike her, the Red Room is extremely well familiar with just what happened. One of these precious few secrets that were beyond her own level of clearance.

She smirks at Bucky's faith that SHIELD is unlike Red Room, unlike KGB, from what she's seen around the world, all agencies are alike, it's their level of competence that is different. It just so happens that USA and USSR happen to be some of the top players in the game.

"Very well," Widow answers Kyr, "but I won't share about me either, I'll let you keep your misconception. Lost, scared and trapped, is that about right? Or did I forget weak?" She entertains Kyr, she gleaned as much from his earlier taunting. «Are you talking about Winter Soldier? Or Bucky? Or one of your fellow clones?» Natasha asks Kyr, as she shuffles towards her cot, and collapses on it to lie down. «I am not just a Black Widow, I am THE Black Widow, top of the class, best graduate of all time. Only thing that matters for a Black Widow is success, attaining objectives. Everything else, you can ask your friend Bucky who sees to that…but that is not the role of a Widow.»

He's broken out of the Triskelion before, almost precisely a year ago. There are stars on the wall that he put there, rows down from his own….and there are hearts beneath suits and black and white uniforms beating for the day he jumps the wrong way in front of iron sights. Accidents happen, even to heroes' friends. Kyr's Russian commentary makes his brow knit. He's still got his hand up, as if he'd reach through the glass, take her hand. «I saw that book,» he says, slowly. «Some of you have mentioned him. Some think I am him. I don't know why. I don't know enough.»

AT Natasha's question, his expression goes dry. «No. They wouldn't dare. He's the only one of his kind, the true supersoldier, and no copy has yet come close to replicating him. Zola tried, with me, and only succeeded a very little bit. Keep him forever, deny that they have him, sure. That's what they did with me. But just kill him? Nah.»

Kyr just grins. Not wolf to the spider, but something that looks like a wolf, acts like a wolf, and is older and younger than either thing. «Cranky fox.» He winks.

As she lies in her cot, listening to Bucky refute her suggestion that Steve Rogers would not be suffered to live if he were captured by the Russians, she is looking at the wall of her cell, keeping her red locks towards the glass wall. She explicitly looks away because she doesn't want Bucky to see the expression on her face, fear, because he may have just introduced to Natasha a possibility she didn't anticipate. Death she is most willing and ready for…but what if she'll be kept in captivity to study all of her tools, to study her suit, to interrogate her, and study the version of serum injected in her…to learn everything they possibly could glean about the Black Widow Ops Program. The Red Room Academy. Prepetual imprisonment, unlike death, does scare her.

«Be of good courage, Natalia Alianovna,» he says, quietly. «You won't be in here forever.» A shot in the dark, a warning? Or reading of her mood - he knows that move of old. A last rap on the glass with metal knuckles, and he's turning away for the door.

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