1965-07-07 - Boys Lost
Summary: A couple Bucklings are missing, and folks are worried.
Related: None
Theme Song: None
rogue steve-rogers kai bucky 

Buck is in the kitchen, gulping down water in a hurry. By his sweaty and bedraggled appearance, he's been out roaming the sweltering city. Now he's flopped limply into a kitchen chair, pitcher of water before him, glass on the table, rationing water in careful mouthfuls lest he give himself cramps.

Kai looks up from his puttering, and his brow furrows. "Any luck?" he asks. He's got cooked pasta, he's got cold cooked chicken, and a bunch of other odds and ends. He's no Lambert, but he's learning how to put things together to be delicious. The pancake was a hit with Loki. Now it's time to branch out. "Do you want a beer?"

"Buck?" Immediately, the name flies after Steve steps into the kitchen. He's been…napping? — by the faint pink in his cheeks and mild case of bed-head going on. Duck tail in wheat-blond, most adorable and counter to his usually kept appearance. He's stepping over to his friend and placing a hand on the man's shoulder with long strides in his sweatpants and t-shirt. "What's going on? What happened?"

"No," says Buck, morosely. That indent is graven deep between his brows, the eternal sign of puzzlement or consternation. He puts his head in his hands - he's even got his hair loose. "They're both long gone." To Steve he says, unhappily, "Two of the kids were frightened by the fireworks and ran away." As if they were two little boys, and not deadly killers.

"They'll come back," Kai says. "Their family is here." He smiles tentatively, doing his best to send comforting vibes despite being worried, himself. He stays busy to work off his nerves, namely by cutting up the cooked chicken into small pieces. "They're smart boys, they won't get lost."

Steve looks up at the Elf as if just seeing him, surprise flashing through his expression, before he too frowns up a storm.

"They might not get lost, but it's a mess out there right now. Everyone's out and about because the weather's nice." He moves his hand from Bucky's shoulder as he paces further into the kitchen, straightening his t-shirt out of habit with quick tugs on the hem. "Can you call them back?" he asks the other man, referencing the rather wild connection that all seem to share.

Bucky shakes his head. "No. Doesn't work like that. It's not a super-clear connection. No real communication. Just kind of a background feeling. And the range….I don't know it, honestly." A glance at Kai. "I'm not sure they're in their right minds," he adds, softly. So they might be like he was, confused and maddened. Breaking into elfs' apartments and stealing their food.

Nowhere in the vicinity of the Mansion counts as private, not with 5th Avenue outside and the hustle-bustle of Manhattan's top tier addresses. Powerful people — or wealthy ones, which equates to power — live alongside the posh building, tourists gawk in the street, traffic flowers everywhere close to Central Park. Which means simply diving into the Atlantic and air-drying at 450 knots isn't really in the cards. A pastry in hand, a stream of flowers braided down her back with those elaborate braids, Scarlett does the 'more than hundred pounds soaking wet' thing decently. She drips only a little bit, her wet boots left by the door outside, stocking feet a haphazard necessity for the nonce. She doesn't smell brackish; freshwater landing, then, one absent of chemicals. Her steps have an odd squeak to them. Blame Sixties clothing. Eventually she makes it to the kitchen. Eventually.

Kai nods a little. Pieces of chicken get mixed with crumbled up bacon in amidst pasta, cherry tomato halves, and chunks of avocado. "Do we have any way to see what might be getting reported to the police? Breakins? Muggings?" He asks casually, and inquisitive tone that assumes nothing. It's not their fault if they're not in their right minds. He looks up when he spies Scarlett, and he smiles at her, if somewhat wanly. "Hello, darling," he says. "I don't suppose you've seen any of the boys, have you?"

The wee little sounds of sea-watered soles make Steve look up and he does espy the red-head most familiar.

"Two of the boys are missing," he says, intent on filling her in as quickly as possible. If he takes notice of her semi-soaked state, he makes no comment, polite as he is. "Did you see them while you were out? Can't you sense them too?"

Bucky's brows cant at the sight of Rogue soaking wet. "You okay, sweetheart?" As if Rogue wasn't capable of defending herself up to and including an ICBM attack. "The others are upstairs, but Lazar and Orel got really upset at the fireworks." Buck, dealing with the burden of parental guilt.

Dripping beads of water trail down those fiery plaits, caught in the tufts of indigo searing in their contrast to the luminous copper and russet. No sign of her frost-shocked strands. The faintest corner of her mouth rises, not approaching her usual blithe smile, and those surreal green eyes framed in faintly bruised sockets bespeak a definite lack of sleep. "I share the party line. Busted equipment, but enough of the conversations come through," she says, unconsciously rubbing her upper arm. Never mind the chewed state of her cuticles. "Locating individuals isn't exactly my forte, though my initial suggestion might be to ask an ambassador. See if anyone claimed asylum who looks like someone who really ought not to be claiming asylum. Given the subject," a nod to Bucky, "that might be unlikely to receive a straight answer. No one was trying to eat half of Coney Island, at least. Other than the snapping turtle, but that was a misunderstanding."

Kai mixes in some Italian dressing, and a little mayo, and he stirs. Never before has an Elf stirred with such consternation. "Snapping turtles can't really help what they are," he mumbles absently. He looks up from his mixing to the three of them. "Do you want me to go ask at the Asgardian Embassy? If maybe someone came by seeking refuge? I guess if no one's reported espionage or crime, that's good news."

"Would they have already been reported, though?" Steve asks the room as a whole, still wondering quietly to himself about how much snap could a snapping turtle snap if a snapping turtle was causing mayhem at Coney. Maybe ask a woodchuck. "There's tuning into the NYPD's channels, to see if anything's being actively reported. However, they're trained. I'd think they'd go to ground, hole up, instead of acting rashly." He looks to Buck in particular as for any confirmation to his theory.

"Sane, yeah. They're gonna hide out, avoid notice. But I honestly don't know if they are," he admits, pained. A look at Rogue, bewildered. "Snapping turtle?" Then back to Kai, "…..I don't know. I don't think they really trust anyone who isn't them."

"A nine-foot-long snapping turtle causes certain consternation among parents when surfacing on the beach," Scarlett remarks, a lightly chiding tone acting as the thinnest veneer to that introspective regard. She nods to Kai, visibly not looking at the food preparation. Her stocking feet still make a pronounced squeak when she moves, allowing her to approach a free counter closer to the resident assassin in residence. "You're taking this well, though, rather than running for the nearest intersection and slapping up posters of 'Have you seen my me?'" Levity can be hard to come by. Nodding at Steve, she dashes her elbow against Bucky's arm.

"You have a point," Kai tells Steve. To Bucky, he asks, "What about the others? What do they think about all this? Would they have any idea where those two might've gone?" Food preparation involves cheese. Then more cheese to top the pasta salad he's made. With it done, and the mood not one for feasting, he covers it with wrap and puts it in the fridge for now.

Leaning against the counter, Steve looks gravely from person to person as they confer and exchange ideas. He then points to Kai and nods. "Yes. If it's a matter of sensing where the other two have gone, more minds are better than one or two alone. Someone head upstairs and speak with them. I'll get the scanner and begin listening through the channels." With that, he's a man in motion, leaving the kitchen at a brisk pace to go hunt down this device. Wherever it is. He isn't gone long, however, and returns with it in-hand, already turning the knob left and right to locate what frequency the NYPD broadcasts upon.

Bucky wheezes silent laughter at the idea of printing up flyers. "Oh, yeah. THat'd work. Mostly to remind people the NYPD wanted me for murdering Steve in public," he says, on a sigh. Then he's nodding. "I'll go talk to them. OR try to, anyhow." Someone's in a decidedly Eeyoreish moode.

A man with the plan, cue the band!

And watch Steve attack them all for disrupting his thought processes. The damp weight of her clothes isn't entirely restraining when it comes to movement, only a tad restrictive. Those dark eyes close a moment and she rests her hand on the counter, sleeve trailing to her knuckles. Her cinched leather vest adds an odd element. "You might consider posting those posters up in the air. Or offering a reward if found, you never know. The mind does strange things where loved ones are involved." A pointed comment as Steve returns, she hasn't any fire in her but for her hair. Call it being thrust into an element that she holds a bad relationship with. "Sadly they are not children and a missing person's report will not get us far."

Kai glances between the three of them, and he looks lost, the Elf does. There's very little he can do here, but what he can do? He can offer comfort. So he focuses on that. "You're soaking," he tells Scarlett in an undertone, not wanting to disturb Steve with the radio. "Let me get you a towel and maybe a t-shirt? And shall I put on some tea, luv?" He puts on the kettle, because of course tea is the appropriate response to everything. Then he darts off to get that towel and the t-shirt just in case.

"I'll be back. Let me go up, see if any of them have any ideas tha might help." With that, Buck's settling pitcher and more glasses on to a tray. Bringing water will be a pretense for visit and conversation, it seems.

The radio chatter can't be too unexpected on a summer evening. The usual complaints that come with heat — violence simmering in Harlem, the usual robberies and fights in the Bronx. Queens has an issue with a house on fire, bad wiring, and a dozen further complaints of the same sort in Brooklyn. Coney Island struck by beach closures and trouble with a celebrity throwing their weight around in Manhattan round out the regularities.

Upstairs are a trio, the remainder under the circumstances. Adam, seated on Kyr's back, wrapping his fingers tight through a sheet to hold down the struggling youngest member of the Bucklings. Then there's also Volya, eating a hamburger that most certainly did not come from downstairs. The tactical knives have the feeling of the Eastern Bloc to them, one sharpened after a few bites.

Scarlett can manage a teapot while the elf zips off for the towel. With no one else around but Steve, she squeezes out the water in her braids, crushed leaves and a few bits of flotsam washed down the drain. A double splashed handful of water hides her screwed up face.

Kai returns with a towel in one hand and a well-worn t-shirt in the other. The shirt is a faded orange hue with flaked lettering on the front advertising Crush. Though, compared to most men, Kai is on the diminutive side, the shirt would still fit the petite Scarlett rather generously. "Here's this if you want it," he says, setting the shirt and towel on the counter. He glances toward the stairs, a silent query after Bucky. He doesn't give it voice so as not to disturb the radio lest it have something meaningful to say.

Bucky whistles through his teeth at them, meant to bring them up short, call attention. Only three? That makes him frown. More unaccounted for, beyond the two panic-stricken ones. «Where is everyone?»

The towel and the t-shirt will do well enough. The damp bohemienne muses over the options offered her, and opens a drawer to find a pair of scissors. Why might she need those? Try rolling out of hippie garb made mostly of leather when it's waterlogged. "I can run upstairs and fetch a fresh pair of jeans," she says, "unless we forgot about the laundry again." It happens, when one has their own place and multitudes of rooms, in fact, a disturbing number for a person who lives with illegal aliens and very potentially aliens. "Thank you. I will duck out for a moment or two."

Two skips and a hop, she takes the stairs in a way no one really hears. Those are the benefits of induced ignorance of gravity.

Upstairs, the sharp whistle brings Kyr to snarling and Adam shifting his weight, distributing himself through the grapple. Nothing to see here, dad, really. Not at all. He bears his teeth in something that is no smile. Kyr tries to shake his arms free without much luck. Volya keeps chewing his hamburger.

"Walk," Adam is the one to say.

Kai smiles warmly at Scarlett and says, "Take whatever you want, dear." While she's gone, he finishes off the tea, and he slices up a lemon so there are wedges available upon her return. These he sets out with the squeeze-bottle of honey. Then he sets to make a sandwich. He's about to set it beside Steve, but Steve leaves to talk to a few people who might know something, so Kai sends the sandwich off with him. Then he starts to tidy. It's all he can do as he frets.

For once, Buck's worried enough to be a little impatient, a little peremptory, «Did they go for a walk? Where? Are they looking for Orel and Lazar?» Weeks of trying to get them out a little more, and now, of course, it backfires on him.

A guy who might know a guy who could know someone gives all the reason in the world to hunt down someone knowledgeable. Reasonable enough that Steve takes his leave to help how he can.

Scarlett, in the meantime, holds up the shirt dubiously and then tugs on the cotton this way and that, mostly on a lateral line. Her doubts align to bouncing on her heels, and then besieging another drawler. Bucky owns enough t-shirts that she ought to be able to find something capable of accommodating the metallic arm and breadth of his shoulders that she can wriggle into. Besides, let's be frank: they smell like him, even washed, and that is a comfort hard to explain. No, she's not rolling on the floor like a puppy. Not really. Nope, not at all. Those thumping noises are entirely something else. She'll be down sooner or later. "Window left open. Sorry about that. He's stressed out."

Kyr snarls over something and gives a kick, but Adam keeps bearing down on him from above. They aren't an equal match in strength; Kyr is the kind who can march from one side of Siberia to the other and only complain about cool toes. The youngest of them thrashes and Volya soundly thumps his foot with a fist. Cue snarling.

"Need fresh air. Hot in here. Too… inside." Adam's terse answer has more to do with being almost flung off his perch.

Kai glances up at the thumping, brows lifting. He wouldn't blame Scarlet for a little rolling around. Kai continues to clean up the kitchen. Most of the dishes in the sink are his, anyway. He hums while he works, a tiny tuneful centering of the self to keep him from worrying too much. Once he's washed the dishes, he dirties a few more making sandwiches, because as far as he knows, those boys are bound to get hungry sooner or later. Going out for burgers while there's food at home. Tch!

"C'mon," Buck says, impatiently. «You all can help me find them. Orel and Lazar are wandering lost. I can't do this all myself. Quit squabbling like dogs, let's go.» He snaps human fingers at them, points at the door. «Time's wasting, and you guys need to get out of the house, too.» Though he eyes Volya. «….did you mug someone for that? YOu know we have food here. And people willing to make it for you. Jesus Christ, guys.»

Volya looks up at that finger-snap, and those pale eyes devoid of any traces of colour except the soft shadings afforded to subarctic storms narrow. Wisps of dark hair slant over his brow, and they show more motion than he does. The endless churn of emotions ricochets like a terribly bad game of Pong played by hyperactive squirrels between Adam and Kyr and he, triangulated around the emptiness found in the Hunter's absolutely remote expression.

Kyr vibrates in a hiss and arches again, his fingers digging deep in the bed. "No," he snarls in Russian. "You. Don't. Tell. Me—"

Being whomped with a pillow is a good way to silence someone, if briefly. Adam's aim is accurate enough, for all he braces himself off the floor. "Lazar goes all the time."

«Lazar doesn't go crazy, when he goes. Nor does Orel.» Hands clench into fists. But he can't force them….or won't. «And that's where they are, now.» But he doesn't say anything more than that, turning on his heel to head for his suite. All the better to wipe himself down and hastily change his shirt. Not that feeling clean will last, when it comes up against that awful city heat.

"They don't want walls. Walls are like the city," Adam spits out the words, partly for dodging being punched in the face. Kyr doesn't take well to being cornered or forced along, his eyes hard, expression tight and angry. For all that wrathful younger Buckling, the Hunter hasn't moved, his hamburger, mostly eaten, clutched like Priam's treasure and no way in hell he's putting up with someone insulting his burger. He slowly, slowly stuffs the whole bun into his mouth when Bucky looks the other way.

Scarlett has already ransacked the bureau by the looks of it. Or that open window and shirts tossed everywhere had nothing to do with her. It's a high amount of disorderly mayhem for one girl to achieve, especially wearing only one shirt. Halfway down the stairs, she looks around the corner. Tea is out there, and tea is delicious. "How is it you became a kitchen god? It seems… inappropriate, somehow."

Kai grins at Scarlett and says, "Unlikely, isn't it? It turns out my passion is making other people happy. Food is a fine way to do that, so I started setting myself to the task of making it, serving it, and — out of dreary necessity — cleaning it up. Anyway, I'll just set this basket of sandwiches on the counter for Bucky to bring up to the poor darlings. My hope is that they'll learn there's some good in the world. Do you want to try some of the pasta salad I made? It's got bacon in it."

Buck heads out, reappears in the kitchen, looking no happier than before. But in a t-shirt that isn't sweated through, at least. "No walls, one of 'em said," he says, glumly. "Maybe Central Park, if we're lucky. Otherwise, God only knows. All the way out of the city and up the Hudson, maybe."

"I spotted mayonnaise, and that may be one of the few things in the world guaranteed to turn my stomach." Scarlett shakes her head slightly, hands slid into the back pockets of those jeans where they cannot threaten diplomatic breakdowns between the Nine Realms. Some dangers simply cannot be approached without good reason, like 'Doctor Strange said he was bored lately.' She tilts her head slightly, and nods. "That makes sense. All aspects of human culture start around a meal, after all, and that brings a powerful connection between different folks. The way to a man's heart really is through his stomach, and his brain shall be happy to follow along once nourished."

Bucky's return earns a thoughtful look from her, and that may be proof positive when she presents him with a cup of tea. "You need to take care of yourself. Trust me on that when I say you burn through your reserves too fast. That metabolism is murder." She should know. She's had it. "Have you checked all their own haunts?"

"It's always a calculated risk," Kai says amicably enough. "Perhaps a sandwich sans mayo?" No interdimensional incidents today. There is enough on their collective plates with these Bucklings. He nods then, curls bouncing. "Exactly," he says. "Exactly so. It's something so universal and societal, yet intimate and personal, and pure." When he spies Bucky, he gestures toward the basket of sandwiches. "Don't forget to eat today."

For a moment, it looks as if Buck will snap at them, his expression wolfish, truculent. But then he pauses, looks at the sandwiches….and visibly stops himself. "You're both right," he says, with a kind of grumpy acceptance. And I haven't really eaten today," he admits. "Just coffee and toast."

The wolf might trouble another with that, but Scarlett is the chameleon to his lupine snarl, the moon in all her inconstant phases. She meets his look unflinching, the slow raise of her coppery brows met with the quicksilver curve of her mouth lifting slowly. "Hunger blunts the senses and slows the mind. Fuel your body and let it serve your purposes. Besides, with them, the damage was done the moment they left. Another ten minutes changes very little." Hopefully Steve isn't attending the World's Fair, albeit that closed the previous year, or else she might eat those words.

"Will you eat with us, Kai, or are you going to be trapped behind that counter? I can put together a sandwich capably. Go sit down." See, she knows her way around a kitchen. She should, she's had to feed Thor and the gaggle of Aesir.

Kai regards the wolfish one with patience. He's had Bucky knock him out and steal his drugs, woken to redhead assassins drugging him while trying to get at the soldier. There is no end to shenanigans. A little grumpus is something he can endure. "Eat something," he tells Bucky. Then he cedes to Scarlett with warm regard, a smile putting a dimple on his cheeks. "I'm still and Elf of leisure," he assures her, and he grabs himself a cup of tea before he goes to sit down, legs stretching out beneath him. "There's not much to do now but wait, I suppose."

How they've tamed him, in the last year and a half or so. For he has sense enough to smile, ruefully, and sit back down….but only after getting himself a glass of juice and a sandwich. He may be able to run on fumes for a long time, but he has no reason to. Not with these two to care for him.

"I am not advocating waiting overly long, but running out without proper hydration and food invites catastrophe. Especially given that you can probably manage a forty hour vigil," Scarlett points at Bucky with her index finger, "but you do not have to. Not without support and supplies." Supplies that include a cup of tea, and a bag of bread. She cuts two slices off if they aren't already presliced, laying them aside. The girl is more a dancer in the kitchen than a whirlwind, moving through calculated spots, practicing coming up just short of the countertop.

Kai is happy to take a load off, sipping his tea as he watches the whirlwind of Scarlett. There's always something to learn from people with more experience. "You know if you need anything from me, all you have to do is ask," Kai says to Bucky. "I want to see them succeed, too. It appeals to my sense of justice, all things considered."

"I don't know what help to ask for," Buck admits, miserably. "It's like white noise in my head, when they're in distress, sometimes." But even unhappy, what a contrast to how he was when they knew him first, Winter ascendant.

Perhaps there are moments to cage those small tells, or the larger ones. Scarlett brings over the sandwich when she completes its making, adding a banana as a matter of habit. Her arms drape around Bucky's shoulders if he tolerates such, and she embraces him from behind, her face tucked to the metal side where even that wretched curse the gods laid on her does little enough harm. "Where would you go if you were afraid? Short of an Aeroflot bound for Moscow."

Kai glances between redhead and soldier, then grins down at his tea. A romantic at heart, the Elf is simply in love with love. "While you figure it out," Kai says, "I'll make sure there are groceries and beer, something stronger if you prefer. I'll make enough sandwiches for the boys, too. Ask for whatever else as it occurs to you." He winks at Scarlett. "You're in good hands, besides."

Bucky leans into the embrace, turning to lay his cheek against hers. Love, indeed. Beauty and the Beast. "Brooklyn. 's what I did, didn't I? Ran around the city, hiding on rooftops, in basements…"

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