1965-05-04 - Blue-eyed Bastards
Summary: Bucky and Kai catch up over lemonade.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
kai bucky 

Bucky's been scarce - he's got two jobs, a girlfriend, and a family, even if it's a famiy of lab-created polyps. But he does show up now and again, just to have somewhere and some thing that isn't part of it….and to keep up with elf and Asgardian. So he's idly cleaning the kitchen, just to keep his hand in, it seems. Fussing around because this is something he can have control over.

Kai comes in with Kevin from a walk. He unlatches the leash and hangs it up. Kevin trots into the kitchen wagging his tail. Kai follows after and says, "Well look who showed up." He tries to sound like he's scolding, but his grin is broad and warm. "I was hoping you were really back and not just between missions."

He's grinning sheepishly at that. "Well, back for a while. Still sleeping mostly at STeve's - it's the one place I can safely keep the kids and Scarlett. It…..it doesn't feel right to sleep out of reach of them. We've got this kind of packmind thing between us." Now that's odd. "But….man, I need a break from all of it, sometimes. I figured I'd come by when I could."

"Kids?" Because no one tells Kai anything. "What have you and Scarlett been doing?" He takes a beer out of the fridge and puts it beside Bucky. Then he sits down at the table and gives Kevin's ears a ruffling. Kevin is beside himself with delight that Bucky is home.

His face falls. "I'm sorry I haven't said much. But what it boils down to is…..a pairing of scientists and sorcerer in Russia made….clones? Variant replicas of me?" It sounds bizarre to say, and he knows it. "I've found eight grown ones so far. Managed to free them from both Russian captivity and SHIELD custody. It's been a long, hard road. We had to go back to Russia to do some of it. But now we're all here in America, and I think we're free of being bound to Russia. I don't know though. I'm not much on either science or magic…." His voice is humble, tired.

Kai's eyes widen. "Can I have one?" he asks. Quickly, he adds, "Not as, you know, a possession or anything, I just mean that if you're putting them up for adoption when they mature. I don't know. What's the protocol here? Oh! I bet they're so cute. Are they at the manor? I want to see them!"

That makes Buck's face crease in a grin again. "They were grown to adulthood. They all look close to my age. One even looks older. They aren't kids." A pause. "Well, there were kids, too. In Russia, the sorcerer killed them when we were there. I'm gonna try and get to the underworld, see if I can get a few back at least," he explains.

"Did you tell Dr. Strange?" Kai asks. "If there's bad magic, he's your man. I don't know where human souls go when they die, so I don't know how much help we'd be getting them back. Don't you have some kind of heaven/hell arrangement? If they were just children, it sounds like they'd be in a better place, because who's going to judge a child?"

HE nods. "We're working with Strange. And it….well, we haven't had a chance to get that. I thought about the same….but my boss, he knows some about that. He was vague, though. I think he can't be direct on that subject," Buck says, on a sigh.

"The one who brought you home naked after you did the unspeakable?" Kai asks, eyes bright. "That boss?" He hoists Kevin onto his lap and thumps his belly, causing more tail wagging and snuffling. Then Kevin jumps down and sniffs Bucky's feet, then tries to sit on them. "I guess you'll just have to read between the lines and hope he's trying to give you good information."

Oh, that's right. Kai does know. Color rushes up into Bucky's face. "Yeah. Lucian," he says, looking sheepish. He picks up Kevin, scratches his ears and chin. And then, unable to help himself, "I wasn't *naked*. I had a shirt on. And a sheet." He did.

"You were naked under those," Kai points out. Kevin's tail does a helicopter twirl, because wagging like a normal dog wouldn't be like him at all. He tries to lick Bucky's face, whining because he's got a lot of feelings right now. Kai innocently trundles forth with the conversation. "So Lucian might obliquely help you. If I could go to your underworld, I would. If you need someone to babysit the clones while you're gone, though, I can do that."

James chuckles at that. "I've got Steve to do that, for the most part. But yeah, you do need to meet 'em. I'd been kind of afraid to get you in because with you comes Loki….and he is what he is, he can't help it. I don't want to have the USSR declaring war on Asgard or something. You know how Loki is…." Apologetic.

"Asgard would wipe the USSR off the map," Kai says, then adds hastily, "But they wouldn't! Because we're at peace with Midgard." He looks shifty-eyed and tucks a lock of hair behind a tapered ear. "Loki did pretty well last time we had to go to an underworld. If it's the realm of Czernobog — since these are Russians — he's even been there before."

"We'll see," Buck says, softly. "But thanks for volunteering." He cradles Kevin like a baby, rubs his belly gently with metal fingers. Kevin squirms and pants.

Kai shakes his head as he watches his dog act like a fool. Ah, well. That's the Kevin experience. He's a super sweet pooch, though. "I saw Steve in the park the other day. Lambert was chasing me, and I threw my pant at his face, and Steve was jogging past. He told us to put our clothes back on."

THe image is enough to make Buck break down into laughter. "Oh, god. I can see it," he says, as he puts squirmy Kev back down on his four paws. "Poor Steve," he says, with no real sympathy. Captain Tighpants Rogers…

Kev trots out of the kitchen, then races around the living room to bleed off excess excitement. Vroom! Vroooom! Kai grins as he says, "He said it just as I fell out of my underpants. Jay and Elmo were there. I put my jeans back on and we went to Saganaki, and Steve finished his run. He was saying something about not wanting to ruin one's good name, and I told him if I had a good name to begin with, that would be a worry."

That grin is all affection. "Yeah. Steve…..Steve's still stuck in 1939, poor bastard." He watches Kev go. "I wonder if the kids would like a dog. Though we still gotta find them somewhere safe to live that isn't Steve's attic, first."

What about the rooms in the manor? If they double up, there might be enough room — wait, how many are there? All I'm saying is it's a big manor and most of us have places to stay. I'm not sure he'd like me bringing Loki by so I never use my room."

"There are eight of the grown ones. Matvei, Kyr, Adam, Lazar, Orel, Nikita, Evgeny, Volya," he says, counting them off on his fingers, nodding.

"So find three rooms, two Bucklets each, and the last two can convert the attic into a living space. Or go four rooms and let Steve have his attic back." Kai rubs the back of his neck as he thinks. "Yeah, those rooms are pretty nice. Sharing with one other person wouldn't be that big of an intrusion I shouldn't think."

"That's kind of what we're doing now," he explains. "And they all like to sleep in the same room, if it can be helped," Buck looks rueful. "They pile up like wolfcubs."

Kai's eyes practically go dewy. "Aw, that's adorable. Maybe you can find a big room for them and put a super big bed in it so they can just pile on." His hands clasp together. He wants one! He'll take it for walks just like he does Kevin! "I mean is there anything wrong with them living in the attic? If you make it comfortable, what's the big deal?"

"It's Steve's place. It's not intended to be a permanent residence for me and my pack," he says, ruefully. Buck grins at that look. "But I do plan, when we work out a place of our own, to have a big sleeping room. They'd like it, I think."

"It's not like Steve's got a pack of clones to clothe and feed," Kai says. "Is your boss paying you enough to get a good-sized place? I guess it would only have to be two-bedroom if one of them is big enough for a clone nest. Gosh, there's a lot of logistics to figure out here. Like integrating them into normal human society, if you're going to do that."

Be turns to the fridge, fishes out a carton of lemonade. "Not that much. Scarlett has money," he adds, after a beat of hesitation. "And yeah. Most of them don't speak English, I don't know how educated they are beyond killing…..they learn fast, though. They have opinions and likes and wants, they aren't blanks. One loves music. Another likes to grow plants. Two bedroom's not enough, though. They need to have space enough to have somewhere to withdraw. To learn to be alone, to want, if that makessense?"

"Yeah, that makes sense," Kai says. "It sounds like you're going to need a big house. At least you don't have to have kids now unless you want them. Your genetic legacy is secured." Kevin huffs and puffs from his running around, trots into the kitchen, and collapses under Kai's chair. Whumpf.

Bucky gesture with the carton - want some? HE snorts. "I'm sterile, Kai. These guys are it…..though I do know some healers…." He shakes his head. "I never really wanted kids. And these guys are enough. Idon't know if they can sire kids. I don't wanna be a grandpa before I've got to thirty years…."

Kai nods at the gesture. Sure, he'll take some. "Yeah, we're friends with the Sorcerer Supreme, among others. I don't think sterility is necessarily a given." He waves a hand. "Anyway, life is so short, you should become a grandparent whenever you can. It doesn't sound like they're ready to meet girls yet, anyway."

"Yeah, Scarlett's studied with the Doc," Buck says. The idea of himself as a grand-dad makes him pull a face. "No. Not yet. God knows how we'll handle that. The last thing New York needs is a whole other assortment of little blue-eyed bastards."

"I don't know, I think New York might benefit from from a surplus of attractive blue-eyed bastards," Kai says. "Besides, there are people who can't have kids that your bastards replace, like me. I mean I can't have kids with my current arrangement, though we do try. A lot." His gaze goes fuzzy with reminiscence, then he shakes his head. "I guess right now you just need to focus on getting them a place to live."

There's more laughter from Buck at that. "You perv," he says, but his tone is affectionate. "But yeah, that's priority number one. Safe and spacious housing."

Kai gasps and lays a hand over his heart. "Such accusations to someone who's just not a quitter. I see how you are. By the way, there's new sheets on your bed." He stretches out his legs and, under his chair, Kev snores. "I still don't see why they can't stay in the attic, but I suppose it's not the greatest security protocol for Avengers HQ to have eight Soviet-made clones living there."

"Exactly," he says. And then that comment about the sheets sinks in, and he gives Kai a very suspicious look indeed. "…..I think I want a new mattress," he says, very drily.

Kai snorts and says, "We flipped it over, don't be a baby." No guilt from him. Not even a little. Bucky left his room unguarded. He gets what he gets. "I'm just trying to think of where you're going to get eight rooms plus a big sleeping room in New York, or maybe they'll have to have alone time in shifts."

Buck looks wry. "I thinking maybe one of those big loft spaces. Or a repurposed warehouse or something. An ordinary family home……I don't think we could afford one big enough."

"They've got warehouses in SoHo," Kai says. "And it's going to be one of the up and coming art centers of New York City. They'll be downright cosmopalitan. Definitely go for a warehouse in SoHo. Maybe someone can teach them carpentry and you can repurpose it yourself. You'll have a whole team with you."

"That's what i'm thinking," he says, with a little smile. "It'd be nice. Our own kind of clubhouse. They need room to run, places to train indoors. We're all kind of restless. Will you keep an eye out for me? I know that kind of stuff shows up in the circles you run in."

"Sure," Kai says. "I'll snoop around next time I'm down there. There was one warehouse Danny and I looked at that we didn't get. There was nothing wrong with it, we just liked ours better. I don't know if it's still for sale, but I haven't seen anyone moving in on it. I'll give you the guy's number if you want to look at it."

"Please," Buck's poured out lemonade for both of them, and he turns back to replace the carton in the fridge, before meandering to the kitchen table. "Amazing to think that a year ago I was some nutjob breakng into your apartment….and now you're married, and I've got kids."

"A lot has happened in a year," Kai says. "It's why I like hanging out with humans. There's never a dull moment. At home, it would take at least a decade to get from being a homicidal nutjob to having kids while I get hitched." He studies Bucky for a long moment, then tells him, "I'm glad to see you getting your life back. I knew it when I met you in that bar that you just needed a chance."

His smile's a little watery. "I owe that to you. You kicked it off. Gave me somewhere safe to stay, fed me…..just another of he strays you pick up. Like Kev here."

Kai shrugs and says, "Eh, it's worth it. You've paid me back in friendship just like he has." Kevin rolls onto his back and snooooores. "You're part of something bigger now, and if I had a hand in Fate's plans, it's an honor."

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