1965-01-04 - Project Virgo: War and Peace
Summary: Steve Rogers encounters the wolves in their adoptive territory.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers rogue 


1300 hours. Avengers Mansion. A pile of wolves.

"Lunchtime" in winter quantifies a good deal of hearty food, lots of bread, something warmed up on the stove or a hotplate. New York at this time of year consumes more soup than people drink water in most Baltic countries. Talk about a reservoir. Fried grilled cheese sandwiches, hamburgers, and anything molten keeps the chill at bay. Temperatures just dip below freezing and the Avengers Mansion costs the government or Lamont or Tony a fortune to heat.

At least in a certain set of rooms, the issue is reduced by careful preparations. They have the curtains pinned shut to reduce likelihood of being spotted in the window, stymying sniper fire. Five souls in close proximity definitely help keep it warm. An old radio hauled out of nowhere is tuned to a station playing an awful lot of sleepy music - jazz tunes, instrumentals, the sort of stuff few people call cool. One of the men sits facing it, almost meditative, hunched over. He doesn't pay the least amount of attention to the other.

Another, Volya, works on pushups until reaching muscle fatigue. He is well into the routine, barely breaking rhythm. Further along, Matvei sits cross-legged on the bed reading War and Peace or whatever passes for writing around here. Doesn't matter what, he'll take a cast off trashy romance novel. The remaining two are currently squabbling, locked in a particularly ineffective fight. Orel looks like a fresh-faced young James Barnes, recently minted to dance off to war. Nikita, by contrast, is what a polished James Barnes, hardened by his experiences and honoured for his service, should be. It's an unfair fight, but how the hell the younger one is holding out is a mystery. The other three aren't interfering.

Steve Rogers slips quietly in from the hall, pirouetting through the door in such a way that his body blocks the view through it as he enters. "Gentlemen," he says by way of greeting, heading wearily to the refrigerator. "Keeping your noses clean?"

Pirouetting through a door is odd enough to get at least the one doing pushups to lift his head. On the other hand, those frosty blue eyes show about as much life as the Siberian wasteland at this time of year. Understandable they have a lookout posted, but given the mayhem they supposedly carved through SHIELD… only a fool enters without anticipating danger. It's not just one rankled bear in a cave, but quintuples. Though maybe they fail to live up to their dreadful reputation.

Evgeniy doesn't turn from the radio. His shoulders stiffen under his shirt. Keeping five of them in clothes does mean washing things in the sink and eventually raiding the closet, bureau, anything they find. They're all meticulous in that respect. Nothing so messy here.

Matvei turns another page. "Use the shower, yes. Is there a smell?" His brows slip higher, and his calm expression diverts away. Nikita is the one who looks up first and gets a fist in his jaw for it, though Orel hardly has a chance before he's flipped over and an arm bar causes the younger man to struggle violently to get up. No baring their stomachs here.

Steve Rogers reminds himself to not ask them about the scuttlebutt as he looks to see if they've left him any Coca-Cola. "Ah. No, my mistake. It means to stay out of trouble." There is of course a smell, but not a bad one. A bunch of young men stored in a small space produces a barracks aura that reminds him pleasantly of the comradarie of the War. "Wouldn't want anybody looking in on you. There are still forces searching for you."

Coca-Cola has been consumed. Anything not marked in Russian specifically as Steve's, or obviously not intended for them, is fair game. Volya returns to the steady beat of his pushups after that initial inspection, and the two wolves wrapped up on the floor snap and snarl wordlessly in an attempt to get the upper hand. An open palm under the chin should hurt hard, though Orel slams his elbow into Nikita's chest, and claws, the pair of them turning in a bloody mess. What's a few bruises between kin? Theirs is a particular brand of violence, brutally efficient, fast and hard, rather different from anything taught in most armed forces nowadays. They transition from spetsnaz to Krav Maga pretty well seamlessly.

Matvei slides his finger along the page. "We were good. Why?" His guileless gaze is weighed down by a smudge of concern on his brow. Genya gnaws on his palm idly, fixed on the radio. Another song is sliding over the speakers, all brass and strings, a moody bayou slap to the ears. He blinks askance once when Nikita comes into a crouch, staring at Steve.

"You. Captain." Hey, his English is terrible. This counts for something.

Steve nods in resignation. Young men consume all available fuel in the same way a fire does. His only hope was that the rate of consumption might not have reached all the Cokes yet. He's been out of the suite too long. "Just-" He gives room to Orel and Nikita. "-checking in on you to make sure you're doing all right." He looks inquisitively at Nikita, nodding. Is it a statement, a question, or a request for attention? Steve waits to see.

Another page turns. Matvei has a fair command of Russian dense historical novels or he is merely skimming for the words he knows. Hard to say one way or the other, but as the most obedient of the pups — his file in SHIELD is enormous, rivalling Sgt. Barnes' — he apparently serves as the spokesperson while the two quarreling on the ground tear one another a fresh shred. "They tried to beat him dead as he watched your…" He pauses, and looks around. A quick Russian conversation is almost fruitless, but Genya grunts out a word in a dismissive tone. The younger one on the bed frowns slightly. "Pictures that move?"

Volya is up another twenty pushups. Maybe he's only doing 500 today. Maybe it's two thousand. Where does it end?

"Yes, I'm sorry for that," Steve replies gravely. "I still don't know what's going to happen to the surviving attackers, but I'm glad the attempt failed. SHIELD agents who stoop to murder, or even mistreatment of prisoners, if that's how they saw it, are not representing SHIELD. At least, I would hope so. They're not representing me at any rate, and I'll do what I can to prevent it and to put it right." He glances back at the kitchen. "This isn't part of that apology, but would any of you like to get into diguise and come with me to the grocery store? It must be tiresome being kept secret all the time, and we're looking low on rations."

Matvei cocks his head a degree to the side. His finger presses down the corner of the page, and leaves a good indication where in that dense prose he last left off reading. His brows tilt down slightly, sharply drawn in sepia. That alone brings Volya up from the floor, grabbing a towel and mopping his sweat-slick biceps and shoulders. The t-shirt will end up doused in the sink at this rate, cleaned by simple soap and rough ablutions meant to keep them smelling relatively presentable. They use a fair bit of soap, all said and done. His stalking gait shadows the pup on the bed, and the pair of struggling men returned to fighting with one another yelp in protest when the Hunter swivels and hauls Orel back by the scruff into the vicinity of the wall. A casual kind of toss, but Nikita adds an additional bit of leverage to break them apart. He gets up then, flicking a look at Matvei.

«He asks if we want food. A food shop.» Russian, of course, from the most calm of them.

Genya roughly lifts his head. A nod in answer. Well, that settles it for them all.

"I need a volunteer to make a list of those things we-" Steve hesitates, as he realizes he was about to say 'need,' and if that was the standard he gave them they'd probably return a list comprised of '1. hard bread 2. hard cheese 3. knives.' Maybe they'd consider the cheese a luxury. Maybe also the bread. "-have run out of."

Accurate. Black bread, tea, bullets, knives, salt. No explanation for why. They might also have a desire to lurk in the snow, but none is really out there. Daytimes temperatures still melt off the worst. Nonetheless, Orel scowls at the silent hunter strolling by and hunkers down to pull his pant leg flat. His clothes and hair are a mess, but no helping that. The bruises will evaporate much faster than they have any right to, cheese or no cheese.

Matvei sighs a little and shuts his book. He lays the huge tome aside on the bed, safely near a pillow. "We go?" He nods to Genya, who is still staring with fixed fascination. Oddly sharks have that look approaching a school of herring.

Steve Rogers takes the sparse note and glances at it before folding it neatly and putting it in his pocket. He folds his arms and taps his chin with his thumb a moment, recalling which firearms he's seen them use and the caliber of the rounds one would put through those weapons. On the other hand maybe it's better not to arm them any more than they already are. He decides to ask Bucky about that one. "To the A&P, then."

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