1965-04-24 - What Could Go Wrong?
Summary: Bucky discusses the little ones, Tony sets up a meeting for Steve.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
steve-rogers bucky tony 

There are two Buckies in the kitchen. No, really. One's the usual one, with a metal arm and a white t-shirt and that absurdly long dark hair bound back in a ponytail, patiently scrubbing dishes. The other one….has shorter, lighter brown hair with a faint tinge of gold, and is finishing what can only be a bowl of ice cream with hasty scrapes of the spoon around the bowl. It's like he's starving. The extra Buck has a face that seems younger - without the lines of wear and strain that are graven on the cyborg assassin's face. Great. He's multiplying.

Tony heads up from the lab with the intent of becoming caffeinated. For once he's not in a nice suit. He's in jeans and a t-shirt, and it makes him look impossibly human, like he could pass for a just a normal guy. Save for the fact that there's a blue circle of glowing light thrumming beneath the t-shirt's white fabric. He makes his way into the kitchen, stops, and looks between the Buckies. "Is this mitosis?"

The spare is wide-eyed with dismay, when he finally sights Tony. He's up and gone, not quite running, despite some sort of order or command from Bucky in hasty Russian. No response - there's only the sound of disappearing footsteps. That explains some ofthe sounds from the attic rooms. Not just enormous mice - he's nesting up there, like a pregnant raccoon. The actual Bucky looks wry, as he goes to pick up the ice cream bowl. "You know, it might well be," he says, wryly. "I sure as hell didn't make 'em the usual way soldiers make their bastards."

Tony watches that little fella book it, and he ambes toward the coffee pot to see if there's any already brewed. Nope, damn. So he sets about making a fresh pot. "Do I want to know this story? I want to know this story. If it's wayward science, I need to make sure I haven't grown any polyps or whatever the hell that is."

"It's a pretty weird story. As far as I can tell, the Russians considered me a rough prototype….and used me to make more supersoldiers. Science involved, of course, namely Arnim Zola….but there's some kind of mystic mojo in it, too. I haven't had a chance to talk to the one expert I know on that front, but….for the genetic part, that's why I was asking you about it not long ago. I managed to steal back all the ones I could find. But I'm sure they're working on more," His tone is matter of fact, and there's the clink of metal on porcelain, as he cleans the dishes.

Tony wrinkles his name at the mention of Zola. "That guy," he says. He doesn't make his coffee quite as strong as Steve's, but it's pretty potent. "So they've sort-of cloned you? I knew it. If they could have that arm on just anyone it would be standard issue. They need whatever there is about you that makes you able to take it." He leans on the counter as the coffee sets to brewing. "Did you get all the samples?"

The approaching clumping of footsteps betrays the man's arrival even before his silhouette is seen in the hallway beyond the kitchen. Their cadence is slower than usual, betraying weariness that Steve wears on his face even as he approaches, his gaze downcast.

Upon hearing voices, however, he looks up and the expression shifts into something more friendly if not still tired rather than outright worried. In his suit, spangled and all, he walks over to the coffee pot.

"Evening, Buck. Tony. Need help?" he asks his friend, eyeing the domestic work both done and to be done.

"I'm good, thanks, Steve," says Buck. Oh, the little smile that the big blond gets. "What's that look?" he asks, quietly. "You okay?" Then he's turning back to Stark. "No. We don't have the research, we don't have the samples….there's at least one kid who was mostly him and not me. We didn't get her out, she died in the fighting while we were trying. I'm going to go down and get her, if I can." …..down where? Hell? Niflheim? The basement? "Now, what makes me able to take it….when I was a POW during the war, that was my first meeting with Zola. I was too sick to work, dying of pneumonia, so they gave me to him to experiment on. He was trying to create supersoldiers like Steve. He didn't succeed completely, but he made me tough enough to survive not only the pneumonia, but a fall later that'd've killed a normal guy. He was goddamned delighted to get his hands on me again, after the war."

Tony gives Steve an upnod, then tells him, "Coffee'll be done soon." He takes down two mugs, then gives Bucky a questioning look lest he should bring down a third? "Woof. That's rough. I've been captured by the enemy, it's not a bed of roses." He lifts a hand, then awkwardly claps Bucky on the shoulder. "So he figures if you can take the serum, maybe someone close to you, hereditarily speaking, could take it too?" He does glance downward when Bucky mentions going down to get her. Funny, he didn't see any cadavers down there.

Steve takes to leaning against the counter by the pot, his eyes upon it and beyond it, really. He doesn't immediately reply to Bucky, choosing rather to listen to the conversation at hand and glean what he can of it to figure out the main context.

Ah, yes…the…clones. His gaze rises to linger on his friend before shifting to Tony. A flash of a pale and familiar form beneath restraints, mumbling a response made knee-jerk automatic from time in the Army, haunts him briefly and he blinks, coming back to the present. Still nothing to add to the conversation, not just yet anyhow, so he continues to listen and wait on the coffee to percolate.

"They have that down. Believe me. What they're doing, so far as I can tell, is using that framework - a set of genetics that will respond to whatever variant of the serum they've developed with Zola's help - and adding to it. The kids have abilities I don't. I'm not a mutant, I don't do anything out ofthe ordinary other than not physically reject a giant metal implant," Buck says, as he sets clean dishes to dry in the rack. No flinching from theclap on the shoulder. "Abilities they were granting by stealing mutant or otherwise special children from around the eastern bloc, rendering them down to get at what ever physical factor made them genetically unique, and turning it into a medication that they could dose the created children with. There was magic involved - one of Zola's partners was a Russian sorcerer, and his blood was one of the ingredients, too." Don't ask Buck about trying to tear out that guy's throat with histeeth. Some things can't be blamed on Winter.

Tony takes down a third mug. He has decided Bucky needs coffee, too. "We've got to beat these guys," he says, his lips pursed in a thin line. "We need to take them down until there's nothing left but a clean foundation." He lets the comment about the sorcerer ride. He still doesn't like to admit magic is a thing, despite having seen it with his own eyes. "We've just got to beat them, that's all there is to it. They're the bad guys. This stuff they do." Not that Tony has any love of the Soviets to begin with, but there's a flicker of genuine anger in his eyes on behalf of these kids.

"I'll drink to that," Steve murmurs, meaning the coffee rather than any form of liquor. Stuff's useless anyways — couldn't get a buzz if he tried, what all he's tried thus far over the long years. "When're you thinking about going, Buck?" His eyes linger on his friend and there's a wariness in them, a modicum of warning, in a way — a silent request that another conversation is had in regards to this future tack of decisions.

"We've already made the first wave attempt, you might say. But there's more yet to do. Because you're right. It has to be eliminated entirely, or they'll just make more from what they have. We didn't find every bit of research related to it, we don't have Zola, and the guy I think I killed won't likely stay dead. Wizards are tricky bastards." A look to Steve, and the faintest upnod. "I dunno yet. That's way on the mystic side, and I haven't yet talked to the wizard I do know. I talked to someone else who knows some, but he couldn't tell me much. Did give me something to help…."

"I might know a guy," Tony says non-commitally. Coffee is done, so he starts pouring it into mugs. One for Steve, one for Bucky, and another for himself. Cream and sugar is for lesser beings. "I know you've probably got this all figured out, but if you need help, any chance I can get to get back at the Ruskies…" His brow knits, brooding over his first drink of coffee. He glances to Steve. "Are you on board with all this?"

Taking one of the mugs of black coffee, Steve finds it dark enough to his liking. No need for sugar or cream at all. It settles his stomach, empty for many hours now, oddly enough. Super-serum homeostasis is a singular thing at times.

Bucky is given another lingering glance. "Show me later," he says quietly, in regards to the helpful thing. He then looks over at Tony. "I'll need more information as to the plan of attack before I can truthfully weigh in on things. I was there, Tony," he reveals, expression going faintly drawn, " — when we found them all. When we got everyone out. Who do you know?"

"We got in and out once, by a lot of blind luck," Buck says, softly. "There was some confusion as to my true allegiances, at the time. Next time….they'll be prepared. ANd honestly, I'm afraid if we go in en masse, it'll look like an act of war. I can't risk setting off world war three for this…but it can't stand, either. They have all kinds of people with insane abilities as it is, but if they can make legions of people like him and me," A nod at Steve, "But who can also, I dunno, shoot lightning out of their noses or cause earthquakes….it can't end well. And the solution isn't just for America to make more of us." That'll solve the biological arms race, won't it. Putting Steve and Buck in a pen until they breed.

Tony tells Steve, "He's no one special. Just some guy who knows a little hocus pocus, so he's paranoid about namedropping, because what if it fell into the wrong hands yadda-yadda. I'll introduce you sometime." He exhales sharply through his nose and looks at Bucky for a moment. "A metal arm will be obsolete with this new generation. Yeah, we can't let them get that far. I get what you mean about not making a scene, but the offer stands."

Steve eyes the genius-inventor across from him, a mild frown on his face, but does nothing more than sigh and reply quietly,

"Okay, Tony. I'm interested to meet this…nobody special who knows hocus-pocus. What, he waves his hands around and a rabbit jumps out of a coffee cup?" He holds out the mug in question, the faintest smirk on his lips. Saintly Steve or Doubting Thomas. "Still…" A glance to his friend and he sobers up again. "Buck's right. We don't need more of us."

"Are you talking about the doctor?" Buck asks, quietly, giving Tony a narrow-eyed look. "Because that's who I know. That and my boss, but he's not a wizard. He's something else." A glance down, and he takes a sip of that coffee. "This time…..I can't …..I need to do this with SHIELD's approval, if it can be had. I don't think the doctor's just gonna up and do this for me."

Tony offers Steve a tight, awkward smile at the frown. "Sure, I'll set it up. You know, I've never seen him do the rabbit or coffee cup trick, but…" He glances aside to Bucky, "He is a doctor," he allows with some reservation. "I wasn't aware you two were acquainted." He frowns faintly. Now it just seems like a dick move to leave Steve the odd man out, so he reiterates, "I'll set something up soon."

"Wait. There's a man who's a doctor and a wizard?" Steve's head turns as he looks between both men, eyes finally landing on Bucky again and therein lies the scrutiny. Acquainted indeed, hmm? "This isn't just some…slang word? Yes, Tony, set something up." The 'please' is implied. He takes a huge mouthful of coffee before speaking again, hesitantly.

"…dunno that SHIELD is going to approve of this, Buck. The Director…" Well. Surely the immediate members of SHIELD know well enough about how Steve's meeting went with her. Summary: he still had all his limbs when he left the office, but appeared rather flustered nonetheless.

"Yep," says Buck, matter of factly. "And …..yeah. A few times. I wouldn't say we're friends, not at all, but he's a good guy, and he's done me a good turn or two." Nevermind the time Bucky hurled the watering can at him. A grim look at Steve. "Yeah. I know. I'm still not certain what my fate's gonna be on that front."

Tony ponders a moment, coffee cup lifted to his lips. Then he puts it down and wanders to where there's a phone on a table just outside the kitchen. "Just a second," he calls back. Then he dials a number. Waits. "Hey, it's Tony." First name basis, hmm? "Stark. Listen there's someone I think you really need to meet." Pause. "Mmhmm." Pause. "Yeah, you know about him. Captain America?"

Lofting blond brows, Steve leans out a little to watch the other man leave. Hearing the click-turns of a number being dialed in, he 'hmphs' in quiet surprise and glances over at Bucky.

"I'll admit that I wasn't that keen on meeting the doctor, but this is good. No better time than the present," he murmurs. Another grimace. "It might be best if…you don't tell SHIELD." It looks like it pained the Captain to say it, seeing as he prefers the truth over all else, painful as it can be sometimes.

"I won't," Buck says, softly. "And the doc is someone you need to meet. All the help we can get….and he works on a very different plane from you or me or even Mr. Stark there."

"Employed is a strong word," Tony says into the phone. "Anyway, there's this whole thing going on with Bucky, and he's involved, and it might be better to coordinate efforts instead of working at cross-purposes. Besides…" He glances into the kitchen, then disappears into the hall again. "He's a good guy," he says in a low, low tone. "One of the best." He sighs. Yeah, he just said that. For the greater good.

Steve does not crow at hearing such a thing escape from Tony's mouth. In fact, he treats it like something not overheard at all…save for the little smile at his mouth. Aw. Shucks.

"A different plane, huh?" His attention slides from the kitchen doorway leading into the hallway and over to Bucky again. "We're talking…seriously, like…what I saw? Back in Russia?" he asks sotto-voce, his brows deeply furrowed.

There's a curling grin from Buck. "Yeah. This guy does stuff you wouldn't believe. Opened a gate in the air that took me from Australia to New York, my hand to god. And yeah, like in Russia. Though I think that guy was something even more. I don't think we got him permanently," He's still got a bee in his bonnet about Volga, it seems.

"Yeah, that guy," Tony says into the phone. Then he pokes his head back in the kitchen. Oh good, it doesn't look like Steve overheard him. "Hey, Cap. When are you free for tea?" He shrugs half-apologetically. Dr. Hocus Pocus likes tea. While he waits on an answer, he asks into the phone, "Hey, have you ever done that trick with the rabbit, pulling one out of your hat or something? I'm asking for a friend."

"Hand to god," Steve echoes, frowning in earnesty now because his friend really doesn't use that turn of phrase unless he's deadly-serious. But…Australia to New York? Via a Gate? Visions of wrought-iron fencing on hinges floats through his head until he's addressed. Looking over at Tony with a momentarily blank expression, he then replies,

"Uh…anytime tomorrow, I'd guess? I'm on call." Poor Captain, always on call, in some shape or form.

Tony is quiet for a moment. Then he says into the phone, "In his defense, I did tell him you weren't anyone special, just someone with a little hocus pocus, to protect your identity. He has no idea who you are. Anyway, he's free anytime tomorrow. He's on call, but when isn't he, you know?" He looks back into the kitchen and gives them both a thumb's up.

Bucky nods, solemnly. "You haven't….you don't know what it was like, with Volga. He's older than dirt, and the earth answers to him, in Russia. We're not done with magic, Steve, I promise."

The thumbs-up is returned, albeit with moderate distraction, and Steve glances back to Bucky.

"I wish we would be. It's…messy. It doesn't fit into anything we know." Yes, in a way, that's the Captain complaining. "I don't know if I want to know, Buck…but I trust you. I know you wouldn't lie to me. If you say the man talks to the soil, I believe you."

Tony says into the phone, "Okay, noon it is." Then into the kitchen, "Noon." Back to the phone. "I figure everyone has to start somewhere." He lowers his voice again, confident since he assumes Steve didn't hear him the first time. "Look, he's a good soul, about as good as there is. Go easy on him. If you've got any grief to give, put it on me. I'm a bastard-flavored bastard."

Supersoldiers and their hearing….and Buck's spent time as a wolf. "It's only going to get weirder from here on out," he says to Steve, almost apologetically. "I'm sorry for it, already." He turns that pale gaze on Steven, and it's mournful. The original ordeal nearly killed them both….and worse is only to come.

Another shift of focus to the hallway and Steve replies, "Noon it is. Thanks, Tony." He's about to respond to his friend when he hears the addendum given by the genius-inventor to whomever is on the other end of the line. His mouth hangs open before he glances to the kitchen doorway again, lips now shut.

"Go easy on him…?" he mutters, looking to Bucky. "I can do weird," he adds, almost defensively, before sipping at his coffee.

"Hey, what can I tell you? I've got to have at least one redeeming quality." Tony's all cheer and friendliness as he talks on the phone. "I'll give him a heads up on what to expect. Thanks for doing this. Greater good and all that. You need anything from me while you've got me on the horn?" He scribbles the address on a notepad with the words 'knock twice' beneath it.

"I know you can, buddy," Buck soothes, voice low. "But….it's not what we're both used to, is it?

"Well…no," Steve allows, rather grumpily. He takes another huge swallow of coffee and licks his lips, looking over when he hears the scratch of a pen on paper. "I can handle it though." And since he said it aloud, he will. So there.

Reaching over for the carafte, he pours himself another full cup. "What do I need a heads-up on?" This he calls out towards Tony, unable to contain his curiosity further.

"Nah, I'm good. Good to talk to you again," Tony says into the phone. "I'll talk to you later." He leans into the kitchen and says, "What to expect," he replies, the very soul of helpfulness. "Don't worry, I'll tell you all about it." Back to the phone. "This will be great."

There's the sound of squabbling upstairs, and Buck sighs, heaving himself up. "I need to go check on the kids," he says, faintly exasperated. "You know, they can't all sleep at once? We can't. We're this hivemind wolf-pack thing…..so I'll go upstairs and be the watchdog, so they can sleep."

"What will be great?" Steve calls out, glowering in the general direction of Tony and this mysterious phone conversation. His hearing is keen, but not good enough for fine details, especially given the quality of telephones in this time. He's about to say something else when Bucky speaks. A glance upwards and a squint of concentration; …ah, yes, there is a stumbling sound or two, along with multiple voices.

"I wondered," the Captain replies quietly, giving his friend a sympathetic smile. "Good luck." A clap on the shoulder sends Bucky on his way.

"What? I can't hear you," Tony says into the phone. "I gotta go." Once good-byes are said, he saunters back into the kitchen like there's nothing at all to worry about in the world. He offers Steve the note he scribbled down, the address of the place with the words 'knock twice.' He reclaims his coffee and says, "Okay, so I might have lied about him just being no one special. He's kind of a big deal in the wizarding world."

Watching his friend go in silent concern, Steve eventually refocuses on the kitchen proper and the return of the genius-inventor. He takes the offered note and reads over it, committing the address into memory. He then gives Tony a mildly exasperated look even as he shifts in place in his lean against the counter.

"Kind of a big deal, huh? Wizarding world?" So much disbelief in that tone.

Tony takes a drink of his now luke warm coffee. Glances out the window, he mentions, "Kind of the big deal in the wizarding world." His features remain calm, like if he says it casually enough, it won't be that much of a bombshell. "Anyway. He's a bit prickly, but he won't lie to you or offer something he can't give."

Steve actually snorts and pushes off from the edge of the counter. The note is cleanly folded in half before he finishes the rest of his coffee and puts the mug in the sink, intending to wash it later…after a shower. And a good night's sleep.

"I'm glad to hear that he's nothing more than a social recluse with an odd hobby. This'll be interesting." Motioning with the note, he adds, "Thanks, Tony. We'll see if he can pull a rabbit out of a hat." With that and a nod, accompanied by a faint grin, the Captain leaves the scene to retreat to his room. Wizards. Pfft.

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